The European Commission organised on the 9th of December in Brussels a conference entitled “EU Green Corridors Conference: Towards Climate Neutral Freight Transport”. The conference was opened and moderated by European Commission and Commissioners for Transport as well as speakers from DG TREN. Many experts from transport research institutions and industry were invited to share their understanding and experience in the field of green transports.
The conference provided a political support for the Green Corridor concept and explained how the Commission envisages to integrate the Green Corridors with existing policies such as the TEN-T policy review and to combine the major EU objectives, Competitiveness of Europe and the Sustainability aspects, into the Green Corridor concept.
The question of “What is Green” and how to measure it was raised by several speakers and by the audience: When defining the environmental footprint of transport one needs to define the system boundaries (e.g. what external costs should be taken into account) and the allocation rules to each transport mode. It was argued that the labelling of Green Corridor would need to be defined in precise way by taking into account several aspects such as the transport efficiency, energy efficiency and energy quality (reduction of carbon footprint).
The EU 7th Framework Program Project “Supporting EU’s Freight Transport Logistics Action Plan on Green Corridor Issues” that was awarded to “SuperGreen” consortium was presented during the conference. The objectives of this project are:
Support and recommendations on Green Corridors to EU’s Freight Transport Logistics Action Plan
Encourage co-modality for sustainable solutions
Overall benchmarking on Green Corridors based on selected KPI’s covering all aspects related to transport operations and infrastructure (emissions, internal and external costs)
Networking activities between stakeholders to facilitate information exchange and dissemination of best practices and technologies
Deliver studies addressing topics important for the further development of Green Corridors
Deliver policy recommendations for further development of Green Corridors
Provide recommendations concerning new call for R&D proposals to support development of Green Corridors (eliminate bottlenecks).
This 3-year project will start in February 2010 with a 3.45 M€ budget. Approximately 10-12 test Green Corridors will be pre-selected according to data availability, geographical scope and co-modality in June 2010 in Helsinki. To avoid any confusion it should be noted that these Green Corridors to be selected are not related, even though can be complementary, to the freight oriented corridors within the EU regulation on Freight Oriented Railway Network.