Distancing measures imposed by twelve European countries during the COVID-19 pandemics (a ban on holding public events, school closures, shop closures, and a ban on non-essential movement) were associated with large drops in visits to retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, transit stations, and workplaces, drops in visits to parks in most cases, and an increase in time spent at home. These effects, measured and disentangled in our analysis, have implications for the costs and risks of closing and re-opening economies: distancing policies (i) reduced contact and likely reduced the transmission of COVID-19 within the population, implying gains for public health, while they (ii) reduced presence at workplaces, shops, restaurants and other venues of economic activity, implying economic costs.
The paper evaluates the effects on energy consumption of digitalization in transport. Digitalization needs a tailored policy support to avoid higher energy consumption.
Over the last decade, EU’s greenhouse gas emissions have decreased significantly in all sectors with the only exception of transport. This sector is thus becoming a key obstacle to EU decarbonisation and more aggressive policies are needed to decarbonise it. This event discussed the potential strategies to structurally address this issue, also on the basis of Bruegel’s new policy proposal in the field.
Transport is the only sector in which Europe's CO2 emissions are now higher than in 1990 and is becoming a key obstacle to the EU meeting its decarbonisation targets, as laid out in the Paris Agreement. The author recommends a three-pronged strategy for a clean-up of the sector: ban diesel and petrol vehicles, reform transport taxation and focus on early-phase technologies.
The European Union has the long-term vision to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 and it adopted in 2014 a binding 40 percent emissions reduction target to be achieved by 2030. Transport is therefore set to become the main obstacle to the achievement of the EU’s decarbonisation goals.
The public's impressions of where money is spent in the European Union can often be wide of the mark. But whether this is a result of wishful thinking or just a lack of information remains unclear.