Brussels, 14 July 2021 – Following the presentation of the ‘Fit for 55 package’ by the European Commission, stakeholders and EU decisionmakers met virtually to discuss how the transition towards low-emissions mobility can be inclusive and affordable for all, at a debate hosted by the FMS – Forum for Mobility & Society.
Alexandre Paquot, Head of the Road Transport Unit at DG CLIMA, presented, in his keynote speech, the main pillars of the ‘Fit for 55 Package’: carbon pricing; effort sharing regulation; and CO2 emission standards for cars and vans. He insisted on the benefits that the consumers can expect in terms of total cost of vehicle ownership and improvements of air quality. He also highlighted that this transition must be fair.
In his opening remarks, MEP Dominique Riquet stressed the need to reduce emissions in the transport sector. However, he insisted that any increase in ambition will need to go hand in hand with infrastructure deployment and supporting measures. MEP Riquet also outlined the complexity of the presented measures for citizens and the risk for an economic and social disruption.
A panel debate composed by Axel Volkery, Antonio Perlot, Laurianne Krid, and Didier Stevens followed.
Axel Volkery, Deputy Head of the Sustainable and Intelligent Transport Unit at DG MOVE, recalled the importance for the Commission to develop a clear narrative. With regards to alternative fuels infrastructure, he indicated that the Commission proposes a regulation to ensure that enough infrastructure is rolled-out immediately across the EU. Mr Volkery insisted on the need to not only look at the costs of this transition but also at the opportunities.
Didier Stevens, Senior Manager European & Government Affairs at Toyota Motor Europe, noted that the overall goal to decarbonize is shared by the industry. However, he shared his concerns in terms of affordability and the interdependence needed to meet the objectives. Mr Stevens called on the legislators not to bet in only one or two technologies to decarbonize transport.
Laurianne Krid, Director-General at FIA Region I, recalled that affordability and choice are key in the transition. She highlighted that the EU should be driven by technological neutrality. With regards to the ETS, she shared that a recent FIA study showed that, contrary to what the EC is proposing, the inclusion of road transport in the current ETS would have been the most efficient option.
Antonio Perlot, Secretary General of ACEM, stressed that he sees L-category vehicles playing a role in this transition and being part of the solutions. He insisted that the motorcycle industry is committed to the EU’s climate ambitions, but they see the need to preserve a variety of technologies.
In his closing remarks, MEP Ismail Ertug, noted that not to leave anyone behind is the key question. He considered that an increase in fuel costs will be critical. Instead, he favours investing in innovation and reconciling the climate targets with other societal benefits.
The FMS will keep promoting the debate around the future of mobility, giving the voice to a multitude of actors and opinions, in a constant search for inclusive and efficient solutions.