Workshop: “Research & Innovation for unlocking the decarbonisation of transport” (17 September 2019)

The transition towards a carbon neutral Europe will require deep changes in its economy, institutions, politics, social networks and people’s behaviour. The DEEDS workshop on “Research & Innovation for unlocking the decarbonisation of transport” will discuss the recommendations of the High-Level Panel of the European Decarbonisation Pathways Initiative.

The fourth workshop of the DEEDS stakeholder engagement series on “Research & Innovation for unlocking the decarbonisation of transport” took place on 17 September 2019 in Brussels.

Thomas Willson, Eurocities Transport services within the EU-28 Member States were responsible for 26 % of total domestic CO2 emissions in 2015 (European Commission, 2018). In spite of immense efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation sector in the past years, environmental performance is below expectations. Moreover, thousands of people in Europe commute to work on a daily basis – using their car or public transport. Especially in cities that can lead to a stressful start into the day. To cut emissions, we need to identify the opportunities of electrifying transportation. Cities with their dense infrastructure are the perfect testing grounds for new and innovative solutions to do so. Therefore, we need to better understand research gaps for battery storage for electric vehicles, explore zero-emission transport modes, such as cycling, as well as social and consumer behaviour influencing transportation choices.

The EU has a clear target of reducing GHG emissions almost completely until mid-century, with a potential tightening to net zero emissions under discussion. This transition will require deep changes in European economy, institutions, politics, social networks, as well as transport systems and technologies. Despite the transport landscape already undergoing changes that can support decarbonisation, such as electrification, digitalization and shared mobility, there is a pressing need for faster and deeper transformations in system, technologies and consumer behaviour.

Working group in Breakout Session II

The DEEDS workshop on transport provided insights into the fundamental transformations required for this sector to contribute to carbon neutrality by 2050 in the EU and looked into the recommendations of the High-Level Panel of the European Decarbonisation Pathways Initiative. Participants disucussed the challenges for low emission technologies (batteries, hydrogen, etc.), new mobility patterns in cities, low-emission public transportation, as well as the needed policy solutions in R&I in order to accelerate the development of sustainable transport. The workshop collected concrete ideas for research and innovation programs for the coming years integrating the perspective of the transport sector in the decarbonisation of Europe’s economy and society. This has been done in collaboration with stakeholders from policy, local governments, academia, companies and civil society.

For more information about the workshop write to Iker Urdangarin (

Read the full workshop report.