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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 20.08.2019, 20:03

Transport in the Baltic States’ cities: reducing air pollution

Eugene Eteris, European Studies Faculty, RSU, BC International Editor, Copenhagen, 21.02.2019.Print version
EU legislative institutions (the Parliament and the Council) agreed on a stricter air pollution control in the cities. For the first time in the EU’s history, the states are forced to reduce CO2 emissions by 30%, compared with 2019 level. The states will make city’s air quality better excluding polluting transport in cities by 2030.


Already during 2017, the EU institutions adopted several measure to reduce transport pollution, so-called “mobility packages” –in line with the EU’s industrial policy strategy- to complete the process of the European general “low emission mobility strategy”, which was initiated in 2016.  

On the EU smart, innovative and sustainable industrial policy’s measures see:


The EU states agreed in 2016 EU agreed to collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) of at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels across all sectors of the development contributing to climate change, including transport, construction, agriculture, waste disposal, land-use and forestry sectors, etc.  

More on the EU low-carbon economy and reducing emissions in:


Modernising mobility systems

Numerous EU initiatives have formed a set of consistent policies addressing various interlinked aspects of the mobility systems in the cities.

The EU efforts and legislative packages consist of the following initiative and proposals:

  • Commission have outlined  a new road safety policy framework for 2020-30, which is accompanied by two legislative initiatives on vehicle and pedestrian safety, as well as on infrastructure safety management;
  • Commission issued a communication to the states on “connected and automated mobility” to make European states world leaders in autonomous and safe mobility systems;
  • Several legislative initiatives were adopted: e.g. on CO2 standards for trucks, on their aerodynamic, on tyre labeling and on a common methodology for fuels price comparison. These initiatives were accompanied by a strategic action plan for car batteriesThese measures reaffirmed the EU's objective of reducing GHGE from transport;
  • Besides, two legislative initiatives were revealed for establishing a digital environment for information exchange in transport;
  • Finally, a draft was adopted to streamline permitting procedures for projects on the core trans-European transport network (TEN-T).

These initiatives are supported by the “Connecting Europe Facility” with € 450 mln to support the member states efforts for road safety, digitisation and multimodality.

Safety and clean mobility

The Commission is taking measures with strong EU added-value to contribute to safety on roads. For example, in the “safe mobilityinitiative, road fatalities in the member states since 2001reduced by more than half; however, still 25,300 people were killed on the EU roads in 2017 and another 135,000 were seriously injured.  

The Commission’s new models of vehicles are equipped with advanced safety features, such as advanced emergency braking and lane-keeping system for trucks prevent fatalities for pedestrians and cyclists. The Commission is helping the states in systematic identification of dangerous road sections and advice on better-targeted investment: these measures could save up to 10,500 lives and avoid close to 60,000 injuries over a decade during 2020-30, thereby contributing to the EU's long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050 (so-called "vision zero" program).

As to “clean mobility” issues and completing the agenda for a low-emission mobility system, the Commission has put forward the first ever CO2 emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles. Producers of new truck vehicles from 2025 will have -on average- reduce CO2 emissions by about 15 per cent lower than presently and from 2030 –by at least 30%. 

These targets would allow transport companies and connected SMEs to make significant savings thanks to lower fuel consumption (€25,000 over five years). To allow for further CO2 reductions, the Commission is making it easier to design more aerodynamic trucks while at the same time improving labeling for tyres. In addition, the Commission suggests a comprehensive action plan for car-batteries that will create a competitive and sustainable battery "ecosystem" in Europe.

See more in the initiatives initiated by the DG Mobility and Transport:


One of the recent examples: the European Commission introduced in May 2018 a package of transport safety measures addressing automated and clean mobility. It included proposals for COemissions for lorries to reconcile the world-leading environmental standards with increasing European heavy duty vehicle manufacturing industry’s competitiveness and secure jobs and growth. Most popular eco-busses’ brands in Europe are Mercedes, Iveco and MAN.

The European Joint Research Center, JRC*) has provided essential scientific support to the member states on many EU’s initiatives: in particular, on present Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDV) emissions and technologies and on the socio-economic impacts of automated mobility. The JRC can also contribute to the preparation of the national action plans for competitive and sustainable battery-cell-manufacturing industries and assessing critical raw materials' demand for batteries for the electric vehicles sector until 2030.

*) On JRC’s assistance, see in:


New CO2 emission standards for cars and light vans in the EU for the period after 2020 is a further step modernising the European mobility sector and preparing it for climate neutrality in the second half of the century: emissions from new trucks will have to be 30-40 % lower in 2030 compared to the 2019 emissions. The new standards will help the states to comply with the EU emission targets, promote innovation in clean mobility solutions, as well as to strengthen the competitiveness of EU industry, stimulate new employment, reduce fuel consumption costs for transport operators while contributing to better air quality.

See more in:


More information in the following websites: 

Commission's proposal for CO2 targets for trucks

European strategy for low-emission mobility;

European Commission 'Clean Planet for All' Communication.


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