By Stephane Petti and Birgitte Keulen
Transport is an essential part of our everyday life. Every day, reliable transit affects our ability to obtain or keep a job, meet close relatives and friends, or access crucial public services. Transport is also the backbone of the modern economy, allowing for the movement of goods, services, capital, and workers across countries. The freedom of movement of people and goods is impossible without transport infrastructure.
But transport is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union. It accounts for around 31% of total emissions in the EU and 24% worldwide in 2019. It is also the only economic sector in which emissions have continued to rise up until the pandemic. With the number of people and goods demanding transport is expected to grow after the recovery, governments and businesses are trying to change this. That means innovating and delivering new mobility solutions that will be not only affordable, but also, safe, accessible, efficient, and green.
Globally, transport infrastructure will require $50 trillion of investment by 2040, and the investment gap is estimated at $10 trillion, according to Global Infrastructure Outlook. It’s an intimidating number, but, in fact, it creates a window of opportunity to support research and development of cutting-edge technologies, such as alternative fuel and green batteries, and new infrastructure solutions like electrical charging and hydrogen networks.
As a big transport lender, the European Investment Bank is trying to mobilise investments in green and innovative transport. By financing a vast array of projects and initiatives all over the world, the Bank shows we can strike a balance between greater demand of mobility and sustainability. Here is how financing innovation and energy transition could help transform the transport sector in a truly sustainable way.