In response to the European Commission’s consultation on its forthcoming Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, the European Public Health Alliance supports the Commission’s intention to adopt a comprehensive strategy to reduce transport-related greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050.

EPHA underlines the importance of supporting the development of zero-emission vehicles and making sustainable, safe, and active transport solutions available for everyone. Europe needs a public health-driven, green mobility recovery, to help fight climate and health crisis. To this end, the European Green Deal shall be strengthened to lead the European mobility transition to a sustainable and healthy continent.

Given the major threat that the climate emergency and air pollution pose to public health, fighting the climate emergency and improving air quality should be at the core of a European Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy. Furthermore, reaching the climate targets needs to go hand in hand with lowering health-harmful substances emissions and thus decreasing the indirect health impacts of the climate crisis. Air pollution increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancers, dementia, and diabetes, causes new asthma cases in children, and damages nearly every organ in the human body.

The new EU Sustainable and Smart Mobility strategy must:

  • Introduce a climate impact assessment in all future EU policies, including health and well-being impacts;
  • Include a calculation on how much will the initiative contribute to prevent cancer and therefore effectively support Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan;
  • Commit to mobilise its resources to invest in walking, cycling and improve public transport infrastructures, to achieve the shift in sustainable mobility;
  • Explore and support appropriate legal, financial, coordination or promotion tools and the development of ambitious policies
  • Aim to end all sales of conventional fossil fuel-powered cars by 2028 and phase out all petrol and diesel cars by 2045.

The highest level of ambition in the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy is needed to ensure a sustainable continent and improve  air quality in Europe. If health is put at the heart of policy-making, the new strategy has the potential to improve all our lives, and those of our children.

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