The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament has called on the European Union to make an irreversible shift to a low-emission mobility in order to reverse climate change and comply with the UN Paris Climate Agreement.

“Changing our transport system is crucial to move towards a sustainable economic and social model. It is feasible, but it requires a long-term strategy, with specific incentives and new legislation,” said S&D spokesperson on transport, Ismail Ertug MEP.

“One of the overall goals is to encourage a behavioural change in the use of transport, which must be accompanied by less pollutant options. Therefore, alternative fuel infrastructure must be deployed: hydrogen, natural gas, and also improving accessibility to charging if we want electric cars to be an option for drivers,” he added.

“We see how cities are struggling with pollution and traffic, and it is clear that more needs to be done to promote clean public transport. We must encourage innovation to support them and also contribute to a clean air strategy in their mobility plans.”

In turn, S&D spokesperson on this file, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, said: “We believe that two principles should apply in any upcoming legislation: the polluter pays and the user pays.”

According to Graswander-Hainz, it is only fair that the price for any choice of mobility reflects the consequential cost it entails for society and our environment.

“As socialists, we emphasise that a well-functioning and affordable public transport system must become a cornerstone of sustainable transport accessible to everyone,” she added.

“Technology and innovation provide for alternatives of which the EU and its citizens can benefit: digitalization in sustainable mobility and intelligent transport systems are only two examples.”