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Photo de groupe conjointe des ministres des transports et de l’environnement
Photo de groupe conjointe des ministres des transports et de l’environnement
BKA/Michael Gruber

Graz Declaration

Published 30 Oct 14:00

Informal meeting of environment and transport ministers
29 to 30 October 2018, Graz


Graz Declaration

"Starting a new era: clean, safe and affordable mobility for Europe"

The Paris Climate Agreement sets ambitious long-term objectives, enhances global collective action and accelerates the global transformation to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society. The European Commission and the Member States have already launched several mobility packages, incentives and regulations to provide a clear pathway for environment- and climatefriendly transport and mobility and to work towards a sustainable and viable European Union, based on the principle of collective responsibility. However, further ambitious policies are needed for clean mobility and transport in order to achieve the ambitious objectives of the Paris
Climate Agreement and European air quality policies and to improve the safety, health and quality of life of European citizens in cities and regions. A holistic transformation policy approach is required, combining actions and making use of synergies, inter alia with regard to behavioural changes, sharing concepts, clean and zero emissions vehicles and alternative fuels, digitisation, mobility management, cleaner freight logistics, active mobility, safe and inclusive mobility, multimodality and infrastructure for public transport with new attractive and affordable mobility services and a fully integrated transport system. To make this happen, consistent investments and supportive frameworks and incentives are essential, along with further research and innovation.

This clean mobility transformation will also provide a crucial impetus for green economic growth while ensuring competitiveness for the European transport and automotive industry and creating new opportunities for businesses and green jobs. Broad support and incentives for all
relevant actors are key elements for securing the necessary acceptance for this transformation. In the major upcoming transformations, it is essential to ensure a just transition and to seek to strengthen women's employment and equal opportunities for women and men in this sector.

The European Commission, the Member States and regional and local authorities need to strengthen their efforts still further to make this green deal happen and ensure a smooth transformation towards low-carbon, environment-friendly mobility, while also complying with the principles of better policy coherence, better governance and partnerships as well as better financing and incentives. In this context, financial flows must be made consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development. Policy measures and funding must be focused on achieving the 2030 European climate objectives
and the 2050 long-term vision in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement, while also taking into account the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. Negative rebound effects must be avoided. Measures already in place must be properly implemented, along with new concerted actions, partnerships and supportive  frameworks also involving the private sector.

The Informal Meeting of Environment and Transport Ministers welcomes the European Commission's efforts in preparing the 'Proposal for a strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction in accordance with the Paris Agreement'. In this context the Informal meeting of environment and transport ministers encourages the European Commission to adopt a strategic holistic policy approach, including a comprehensive strategy for, and a pathway towards, clean, safe, accessible and affordable mobility, and also to strengthen innovation, competitiveness and social inclusion in Europe.

Member States are called upon to implement the relevant existing policies as a priority. They, together with cities, regions, companies and transport actors, should be encouraged and supported to increase their efforts towards zero-emission mobility through incentives and financing instruments, which should be provided inter alia at European level and through a simplification of state aid rules. To this end, Member States acknowledge the importance of making use of existing financing and blending opportunities for clean transport.

The Commission, Member States, regional and local authorities and other stakeholders should further develop the following actions:
Clean vehicles: rapid introduction of zero-emission vehicles and decarbonised fuel options

  • Accelerating the market introduction of low- and zero-emission vehicles, including the development of appropriate charging infrastructure, with a view to long-term carbon neutrality in Europe through public procurement, incentive systems and broad support programmes for transport actors, as well as ensuring the adequate provision of clean and renewable energy and its related infrastructure. Funding and financial incentives at EU and national level should be used to provide support for accelerating the market introduction of low- and zero-emission vehicles, infrastructure and services for alternative fuels. 
  • Further developing emission regulations for road vehicles beyond 2030, with the aim of increasing the market uptake of low- and zero-emission vehicles in a way that is compatible with the efforts needed to meet the commitments under the Paris Agreement. 
  • Promoting the introduction of electromobility and responding to electrification needs in all modes of transport. 
  • Further developing decarbonised sustainable fuel options in Europe and raising the share of renewable energy in transport while strengthening security of supply and the competitiveness of European industry. 
  • Evaluating the legal framework for the promotion of alternative fuels infrastructure in order to identify if and where an update may be needed. 
  • Pursuing research and innovation efforts through the relevant current and future EU funding mechanisms, focusing on innovative technologies for the decarbonisation of the transport sector, including research on batteries, and complying with the principle of technology neutrality while taking into account life cycle analysis and well-to-wheel approaches. 
  • Implementing eco-driving as part of driving education schemes and launching broad campaigns for eco-driving and sustainable consumer behaviour to promote energy-saving driving styles and the purchase of low- and zero-emission vehicles.

Strategy for sustainable mobility management and planning

  • Developing a European strategy for mobility management which provides guidance and support aiming at offering sustainable mobility choices and options in the EU, in the Member States and at regional, local and company level. This strategy should focus on the following key elements:
    • Strengthening the efficient and smart management of mobility needs and transport demand to ensure inclusive access to mobility and efficient use of infrastructure and transport systems.
    • Making the best possible use of the potential of new transport technologies and zero-emission vehicles by combining them with climate-friendly mobility services and logistics.
    • Embedding digitisation and mobility, smartly and cost-efficiently, as service approaches, and incorporating automated vehicles into the mobility system, while ensuring transparent data-sharing practices and the incorporation of the user's perspective.
    • Identification of intelligent incentives and development of support programmes aimed at multimodal, clean, safe and inclusive mobility management and planning for cities, regions, companies, tourism, schools and youth.
    • Supporting awareness-raising, sustainable mobility planning and land-use policies to counteract urban sprawl, and providing incentives for modal shift and environment- and climate-friendly connectivity and accessibility in cities and regions.
  • Enhancing European support to Member States for the development of national mobility management strategies and programmes as well as facilitating the development of sustainable regional and urban plans for mobility management and mobility planning and promoting European cooperation with platforms and partnerships such as the European Platform for Mobility Management (EPOMM). Integrating mobility management into current and future European funding and financing instruments. 
  • Encouraging the evaluation and possible revision of the EU's urban mobility policy and of the guidelines related to sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPs), whilst also taking into account the interlinkages with mobility management.

Active mobility to promote health and sustainability

  • Acknowledging active human-powered mobility (cycling, walking, etc.) as an equal mode of transport and as an integral part of an intermodal mobility chain.
  • Developing a European strategic and supportive framework to promote active mobility aimed at increasing the latter's share in transport. To this end, the objectives and recommendations of the 'Declaration of Luxembourg on Cycling as a Climate Friendly Transport Mode' and the ongoing work for the UNECE WHO Pan-European Master Plan for Cycling Promotion elaborated within the Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP) should be taken into account. 
  • Integrating active mobility in the current and future European funding and financing schemes to enable the extension and improvement of infrastructure for active mobility, including the development of a Trans-European Cycling Network (TEC), and, in particular, to support Member States' programmes for active mobility. This infrastructure development should cover all types of bicycles and ensure multimodal connectivity with public transport and new mobility services. 
  • Providing support with European instruments for the development and implementation of plans, programmes and projects in the Member States on active mobility, including by promoting consistent data collection, information sharing and the dissemination of good practices. 
  • Including the health benefits of active mobility in infrastructure and transport projects and policies, in particular incorporating active mobility into the TEN-T Guide to Cost-Benefit Analysis of Investment Projects. In this connection, the WHO Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) elaborated within the PEP should be applied. 
  • Scaling up EU-wide and national awareness-raising efforts on the multiple benefits of active mobility for health, for liveable, safe and attractive urban environments, and for local and regional economic attractiveness. 
  • Providing support for initiatives aimed at promoting behavioural change and the creation of safe environments such as cyclable and walkable streets to broadly enable active mobility for citizens. In this context, the EU flagship campaign 'European Mobility Week' should be further strengthened and extended.

Safe and inclusive mobility

  • Taking account of vulnerable road users, especially cyclists and pedestrians, for example by creating or ensuring safe infrastructure in the context of the amendment of Directive 2008/96/EC on road safety management and through improvements in the field of vehicle technology. 
  • Ensuring safe and inclusive mobility, taking into account the Safe System Approach and Vision Zero, by promoting training and raising awareness among all road users, promoting the use of active and passive safety equipment and the harmonisation and application of (new) road safety technologies, and using technological progress through networking and automation to compensate for or eliminate human error as the main cause of road traffic accidents. 
  • Welcoming the Road Safety Strategy and working with the Commission and all Member States to implement it. Setting concrete and ambitious national targets to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries by 2030 and defining and implementing appropriate key performance indicators that are directly linked to a reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents, and paying particular attention to vulnerable road users, especially cyclists and pedestrians. 
  • Promoting research initiatives that increase scientific knowledge of road safety and strengthening financial support for road safety, inclusiveness and digitalisation actions likely to benefit types of road that are less safe, such as secondary roads outside the TEN-T network.

Multimodality and infrastructure

  • Promoting research initiatives and funding instruments for the implementation of Europe-wide zero-emission intermodal mobility chains in passenger transport, including Europe-wide unified ticketing/passenger information systems and appropriate logistics and distribution systems in freight transport, with a focus on shifting transport from road to rail and waterway, with particular regard to environmentally friendly intermodal solutions, especially in urban areas.
  • Grasping the opportunity that multimodality presents at the European level both for goods and passengers, ensuring the digital evolution of our networks, including the promotion of electronic freight transport information, and building the economic case for sustainable alternatives to road transport. 
  • Acknowledging, in that framework, that a multimodal data layer with open interfaces will have a key role to play in bridging infrastructure, applications, services and networks.
  • Promoting modal shift from road to more sustainable transport modes for both passengers and freight, and facilitating the introduction of multimodal freight transport solutions, including ports and terminals.
  • Increasing the efficiency and attractiveness of rail transport:
    • continue the efforts to complete the TEN-T rail core network,
    • continue work on the implementation of a single European railway area with better interoperability, in particular by removing barriers at the borders and ensuring consistent operating rules and a consistent solution for the operating language, 
    • strengthen and continue initiatives towards the progressive digitisation and automation of rail transport,
    • increase financing for cross-border rail freight and passenger transport services of sufficient quality in European funding instruments,
    • increase multimodality and connections with other modes of transport (bike parking, allowing bikes in trains, etc.).
  • Promoting waterborne transport and furthering the accessibility, development and efficiency of inland waterways and ports.
  • Encouraging the introduction of multimodal solutions for freight transport; this helps to shift goods to sustainable means of transport such as rail or inland waterways, including island and peripheral regions, and, in conjunction with suitable legal and economic framework conditions for combined transport, allows freight transport to be handled more efficiently and sustainably.

The Informal Meeting of Environment and Transport Ministers invites the European Commission to build on these principles and proposed actions and to develop and deliver the comprehensive strategy for, and a pathway towards sustainable, clean, safe, affordable and inclusive mobility in Europe, with appropriate packages by 2021.

Furthermore, the Member States and the European Commission are invited to intensify their collaboration within international processes aimed at low-carbon and environment-friendly mobility and transport, such as the ICAO, the IMO and the UNECE/WHO Transport Health and Environment Programme (THE PEP) and their partnerships, and to contribute in particular to the preparations for the fifth pan-European High-level Ministerial Meeting on Transport, Health and Environment in Vienna in October 2019.

The Informal Meeting of Environment and Transport Ministers, in Graz in October 2018, marks the beginning of a new era in which all parties will work towards a green deal for a new mobility in Europe - a clean, safe and affordable mobility that is beneficial for our citizens, our society, our environment and our economy.


More information about this event can be found on the event page.

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