At the TTE Council Meetings in Brussels today, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Pim van Ballekom together with EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc presented a new “Cleaner Transport Facility” (CTF), with the aim of financing the decarbonisation of the transport sector in Europe.
The support for alternative fuels and cleaner technology in transport is aligned with European Union policies on climate action and sustainable transport, and specifically the recently-adopted strategy of the European Commission on low-emission mobility. The CTF is a new umbrella initiative targeting the deployment of alternative fuels in the transport sector. Its objective is to support the accelerated deployment of cleaner transport vehicles and their associated infrastructure needs, such as for charging and refuelling, which are expected to foster socio-economic benefits including reduced health costs due to cleaner air and lower noise.
Pim van Ballekom, EIB Vice-President, said: “The EIB’s lending in the transport sector is becoming increasingly greener. Last year marked the first year in which the majority of transport projects financed by the EIB in EU Member States were in sustainable transport. With the CTF we aim to support the accelerated deployment of cleaner transport vehicles and their associated infrastructure across all EU countries. This is a process that must be accompanied by a change in the use of public resources, through an intelligent diversification of instruments to achieve and maximise sustainable investment.”
Only if the deployment of low-emission alternative energy for transport is accelerated can we achieve the decarbonisation of the sector and ensure that global warming is kept well below 2°C
Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport added: “Our goal is to increase the efficiency of the transport system by making the most of digital technologies, sustainable transport and further encouraging the shift to lower emission transport modes. Only if the deployment of low-emission alternative energy for transport is accelerated can we achieve the decarbonisation of the sector and ensure that global warming is kept well below 2°C. I am looking forward to the progress we will achieve with the Cleaner Transport Facility and further good cooperation with the European Investment Bank.”
Projects that deploy alternative fuels, according to the Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure, will fall under the CTF. Thereby the facility targets transport vehicles that have lower greenhouse gas emissions – or enhanced environmental performance – compared to conventionally-fuelled transport vehicles. These alternative fuels include electricity, hydrogen, biofuels and natural gas, including biogas, compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The first project under the facility is expected to be signed early next year and will support the purchase of new hydrogen fuel cell buses, trolley buses and associated infrastructure in Riga, Latvia. Further operations are under approval in Artois-Gohelle in France and in Las Palmas and Palma de Mallorca in Spain.