Belgium, (Brussels Morning) The largest European research and technology conference on transport and mobility — TRA, the Transport Research Arena was announced yesterday during a press briefing at the Press Club Brussels. This year, the flagship event will take place in Lisbon, from the 14 until the 17 of November gathering EU leaders and industry to discuss how to “reimagine mobility worldwide”.
On this year’s edition, the high-level event will address several themes in line with the European Green Deal and the ‘Fit for 55’. Such topics include smart solutions and society, green mobility and decarbonization, innovative infrastructure for Europe 2030 and policies for a competitive Europe.
The TRA is the foremost European transport event that covers all transport modes and aspects of mobility. It has been organised every two years since 2006, with the exception of the 2020 Helsinki edition that was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Transport and mobility
Co-organised in partnership with the European Commission, the Portuguese National Innovation Agency (ANI) among others, TRA2022 will provide policymakers and industry representatives the chance to get together and contribute to discussions on how research and innovation will reshape the transport and mobility system. This year, a demonstration area will feature, to allow innovators to showcase their inventions and new technologies in real-time.
“The idea is to meet all this people together and make synergies between different transport sectors, to combine different knowledge, discuss that together and then give some recommendations. That’s why for us this is more than a conference,” said Patrick Mercier-Handyside, from DG Research, European Commission, during the press briefing.
Mercier said the main goal of TRA 2022 is to discuss low carbon fuels, sustainable energy and decarbonization. He also hopes to come out of the 4-day event with practical solutions for the Commission’s initiative to deliver 100 carbon neutral cities by 2030.
Indeed, manufacturing of electric long-haul trucks is in the early days, but the marketing of battery electric vehicles is scaling this year and hydrogen is coming in the second half of this decade.
Public and private partnerships are expected to be forged to radically accelerate the electrical grid and deploy electric charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure along transportation corridors.
However, only the Council and the Parliament have the power to create the necessary framework to make this reality. Last year, the European Parliament discussed the transition to greener transport networks with the Transport Commissioner Adian Valean — underpinned by the EU mobility strategy that was designed to deliver on the European Green Deal’s ambitions.
To deliver towards the environmental goals, the EU is trying to reduce GHG emissions from transport by 90% by 2050, compared with 1990 levels. With existing policy measures, transport emissions are projected to decrease by only 22% in 2050 compared with 1990, according to the EU environment agency. This is a long way from the 90% reduction in transport sought by the Green Deal by 2050.
Spurred by the energy crisis in Europe, on September 14, MEPs voted to increase the EU’s transport emissions reduction target from 13% to 16% by 2030, through a ramp up in the use of advanced biofuels and hydrogen-derived e-fuels.