In October 2022, EU lawmakers agreed to set a mandate for new cars and vans to be emission-free by 2035. In confirming the combustion engine ban, Brussels will face new challenges.
There will be implications for the funding of infrastructure, such as electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and public transportation. The shift to clean mobility also needs to avoid creating a two-speed Europe, where some countries ‘benefit’ from the combustion engine ban and others struggle to implement alternative solutions.
Digital technologies could revolutionise how we move, making our mobility smarter, more efficient and greener.
But we need more research on societal behaviours and a clear understanding of how people consume means of transportation, not only cities but also in rural areas, in order to help the private sector and governments provide the most efficient clean mobility solutions.
This debate will look at how to create the conditions for all European citizens to have access to clean mobility, regardless of their income and location.
The event marks the official launch of the SSH CENTRE (Social Sciences and Humanities for Climate, Energy and Transport Research Excellence) project. This project, supported by 13 leading organisations from across Europe, will engage directly with stakeholders, including researchers, policymakers, business representatives, as well as civil society and citizens, to strengthen social innovation, SSH-STEM collaboration and transdisciplinary policy advice to accelerate the EU’s transition to carbon neutrality.
Questions to be addressed include:
- How can Europe ensure that the automotive sector builds a competitive low-carbon vehicles industry without harming workers’ livelihoods?
- What are the key infrastructures that will be needed in the shift to clean mobility and how can the EU ensure these are accessible to all?
- How do policymakers balance the need for better public transport with citizens’ desire for private cars, and how can they encourage people to use other modes of transport?
- How can research on societal shifts help inform just transport policy, in the context of the cost-of-living crisis?
Cathy Macharis teaches courses on the intersection of sustainability, mobility and decision-making at the VUB Faculty of Economics and coordinates the Mobilise Research Group, which supports the transition to sustainable mobility and logistics. Having published over 100 scientific journal articles and 11 books, she is known for developing the Multi-Actor Multi-Criteria Analysis (MAMCA) methodology to improve decision-making related to sustainability issues by giving a voice to all stakeholders. Macharis serves as President of the Brussels Mobility Commission and Vice-Chairwoman of the Network on European Communications and Transport Activities Research (NECTAR), as well as on the Flemish government’s panel of climate experts.
Julia Poliscanova leads T&E’s vehicles and electrification work across light and heavy-duty road transport. Her work includes policy and projects on car emissions and e-mobility, such as EU vehicle CO2 standards, sustainable batteries, and infrastructure for electric vehicles. Poliscanova also represents T&E on the Board of the Global Battery Alliance and serves as an advisor to the Board of Vulcan Energy Resources. Specialised in batteries and fuel cells, Poliscanova previously worked as senior EU environment expert for the Mayor of London. She has also followed legislation on renewables, energy efficiency and sustainable transport as an advisor to a member of the European Parliament.
In addition to her current appointment as the Director of the Clean Planet Directorate at DG RTD, Rosalinde van der Vlies serves as the Deputy Mission Manager of the Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Mission. Previously, she led the Coordination & Interinstitutional Relations Unit and has acted as the head of the Communication & Citizens Unit. She has also held positions in the Directorate-General for the Environment, the Directorate-General for Justice and Home Affairs, as well as the private office of the European commissioner for environment. Before joining the European Commission, she worked as a competition lawyer at an international law firm.
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