The Eurodelta urban region will
not be able to achieve its climate-neutrality goals in the
transport sector by 2050 unless the public authorities adopt
interventions ranging from zero-emission zones to switching from
air travel to high-speed rail for distances under 500
kilometres, according to the STISE research project of the ESPON
European cooperation programme specialized in regional analysis.
The study focused on sustainable transport in the Eurodelta, a cross-border urban region stretching from the Netherlands, Belgium and northwestern France and North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.
According to the researchers, the macro-region could act as a model for the pursuit of EU sustainability goals in the transport sector.
This sector is responsible for 30% of Europe's total CO2 emissions and 72% of these transport emissions are produced by road transport.
This is why Brussels is aiming to cut transport emissions by 60% with respect to 1990 levels by 2030.
The ESPON study analysed the impact of four measures on a common agenda for Eurodelta transport policy on four sustainability parameters (carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, Pm10 fine particles and energy consumption).
The four measures examined by the researchers were: a ban on using air transport for short and medium-haul journeys within the Eurodelta area, with a switch to high-speed rail; the creation of zero-emissions zones in all of the macro-regions cities with over 100,000 inhabitants for cars and heavy and light commercial vehicles; the exploration of transport as a service, with special attention on passenger transport; the improvement of cross-border regional rail transport in the three corridors of the STISE project, Lille-Brussels, Rhine-Scheldt and Rhine-Waal, in order to encourage the switch from road to rail transport for regional cross-border passengers.
Although they have different effects on the four indicators analysed, the researchers recommended implementing all the measures examined on the basis of their level of feasibility and the priorities of the competent authorities.
These measures, each accompanied by a detailed implementation schedule, interact with each other, thus multiplying the effects.
The study concluded by saying that the implementation processes require coordination mechanisms at all levels of governance to increase effectiveness, bearing in mind that the Eurodelta region encompasses four different EU States and sustainable transport is a multi-level policy.
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