EU Commission Endorses ETRA’s Sustainable2Wheels
BRUSSELS, Belgium – The European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik, the Vice-President of the European Parliament Isabelle Durant and the Deputy Director General of DG Move, Fotis Karamitsos showed up last week at the inauguration of ETRA’s European Mobility Week event Sustainable2Wheels.
In his inaugural speech, Commissioner Potočnik explained that this year’s Mobility Week theme “Moving into the Right Direction” referred to sustainable urban mobility planning, which is crucial in tackling congestion and other traffic related problems like health and wellbeing.
He explained that in this framework “Mobile sources of pollution” still represent a major challenge: “Although the emission standards for mobile sources such as cars have been tightened by EU legislation, the number of cars on the roads keeps increasing. In addition to emissions from more cars, growing traffic creates more congestion and that seriously affects also urban mobility.”
Promotion of cycling
According to Commissioner Potočnik this problem requires a twofold approach. “On the one hand innovative traffic management solutions in urban areas must be encouraged and all forms of sustainable mobility, including 2Wheels, promoted. On the other hand the use of the most polluting vehicles must be discouraged. We need to accelerate the switch to less polluting vehicles. ETRA has gathered here a wide variety of 2Wheel solutions to help making urban transport more sustainable. This initiative is a welcome contribution to European Mobility Week. I wish Sustainable2Wheels the success it deserves.”
For the first time Luxembourg Station which is adjacent to the esplanade of the European Parliament, was included in the ETRA event, as a symbol of real sustainable intermodality. Here ETRA Secretary General Annick Roetynck publicly interviewed a select group of politicians on the role of 2Wheels in EU policies.
37 organizations present themselves
In the hall of Luxembourg Station 19 sustainable mobility related organizations presented themselves. On the esplanade, another 18 companies showed contemporary bicycles, electric bicycles, scooters and motorcycles for urban transport. There were also innovative vehicles such as the Trikke, the WeatherVelo or the Egret. Furthermore, Sustainable2Wheels welcomed for the first time a car manufacturer showing his electric bicycle.