Published initiative by European Commission. Further information: European Commission.
Finnish Industries views on Sustainable and Smart Mobility
The future EU Strategy for Sustainable and Smart Mobility will form the basis to decarbonate and to digitalise the transport system. Our key points in brief are:
- The companies in transport and haulage industries in Finland are committed to reduce the CO2 emission to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
- Experience in Finland shows that high capacity transport significantly reduces emissions in national road freight and should be promoted in the EU level.
- Finland’s foreign trade depends on maritime transport due to our geographic situation. Therefore, our main interest is in the competitiveness and cost efficient emission reductions in maritime transport. Foreign trade from Finland is also challenged by arctic winter conditions adding cost burden.
- As shipping is a global business, its regulation should take place at global level providing a level playing field in maritime markets. Therefore, the EU should enforce its efforts in the IMO to ensure efficient emission reduction measures on short and long term.
- We see that extensive impact assessments are required when the applicability of the EU ETS to maritime transport or to road transport is evaluated.
- We are concerned about TEN-T Network investments dragging behind the targets. A well-developed and connected infrastructure ensures efficient inter modal supply chains across the EU.
- Digitalisation is penetrating freight forwarding and logistics services as companies are making use of new technologies especially in business-to-business environment. In data economy especially questions on reliability and ethics are central and we strongly support EU attention.
Facts on Finland and transport system
Finland is a transport intensive country. Distances are long as the industry is scattered across the country, close to the various natural resources. Also, the population is scattered apart from Helsinki capital region covering 1,2 million people.
Transport systems in larger city areas rely on public transportation. High percentage of public transport is a merit of long-term planning in city regions including land use, housing, and transport planning. These plans are encouraged nowadays with state infrastructure investments and financial support to ticket prices. In rural areas new shared transport services are developing fast.
The amount of freight transport by roads per capita is nearly double compared to EU average. This is due to the heavy focus on export: Finland produces goods for the use in Europe and worldwide. The industry and commerce road transportations in Finland are the most energy efficient in the EU as we benefit from the use of longer and heavier vehicles. The efficiency of these vehicles results to 30% less CO2 emissions per transport ton compared to EU average. Freight by rail shows high performance being one fourth of the domestic freight.
With regards to foreign trade sea transport is the only realistic alternative to export goods from Finland. Cost efficiency of sea transport is a key component of the competitiveness of the industries and national economy in Finland. In passenger traffic global connections depend on flying.
Roadmap to halve transport CO2 emission by 2030 in Finland
Finland will achieve the current EU 2020 emission reduction goals in transport. This is mainly due to improved energy efficiency of cars and the use of renewable fuels. The companies in transport and haulage industries are committed to reduce the CO2 emission to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 like all the industries in Finland.
The transport industry in Finland has produced a low-carbon road map to halve the transport CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 2005. According to the baseline scenario the emissions are likely to decrease 37 %. The baseline covers impacts of all decisions taken earlier nationally and by the EU.
In the low-carbon road map the transport industry proposes the following extra
measures to achieve its goals:
- Introduction of new services and digitalisation
- Sustainable mobility measures in city areas
- Regeneration of the car fleet in Finland
- Investments in the infrastructure
- More renewable fuel in freight transport.
EU Strategy for Sustainable and Smart Mobility
The focus of the new transport strategy will be on greening and digitalisation of the transport in the economy that is recovering from the covid-19 pandemic.
Transport is addressed in the Green Deal by both revisioning the existing legislation and by new measures. Extensive impact assessments are required when the applicability of the EU ETS to maritime transport or to road transport is evaluated. An assessment is also needed from the current ETS sectors’ point of view. The price for carbon reduction in road transport is known to be considerably higher than in most industrial sectors. Including road transport in the EU ETS might lead to high and unacceptable costs for the other sectors.
When it comes to international shipping, the International Maritime Organisation IMO has set an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships. The plan is to reduce CO2 emissions and eventually phase them out. The EU should enforce its efforts in the IMO to ensure efficient measures on short and long term.
As shipping is a global business, its regulation should take place at global level providing a level playing field in maritime markets. Adding the inside EU short-sea shipping to the EU’s emissions trading scheme would unevenly burden merchant ships within the EU. Finland depends on maritime transport due to its geographic situation. Foreign trade from Finland is also challenged by arctic winter conditions adding cost burden in maritime transport.
In principle clean and efficient transport should be promoted in all modes by uniform policy measures and carbon price signals. This would give a coherent price signal for the users and would keep the transport markets well-functioning and active.
Digitalisation is penetrating freight forwarding and logistics services as companies are making use of new technologies especially in business-to-business environment. New technologies as artificial intelligence, next generation internet, advancing computing, bid data and robotics increase efficiency and productivity of transport and logistics operations. At EU level a fully digital business environment can be achieved and may need new regulation. In data economy especially questions on reliability and ethics are central and need EU attention.
Further attention is also needed on Trans-European Transport Networks. Investments in the Core Network are dragging behind the targets and even more on the Comprehensive Network. The more future developments on automation and zero-carbon mobility proceed the more important is the trustworthy infrastructure underneath. High-standard infrastructure would enable use of high capacity transport to reduce emissions in the international road freight in a practical and business-friendly way. A well-developed and connected infrastructure ensures efficient intermodal supply chains across the EU and is a business advantage for companies in Europe.