This policy paper shines a light on the current gap in the EU’s transport strategy: Coupling supply-side energy efficiency measures with a suite of demand-side policies that prioritise equity and limit material and energy demand is largely missing. Energy-efficiency measures are fundamental, yet not sufficient to reach climate targets if not coupled with socio-cultural mobility and transport policies aimed at decreasing energy and material demands in an equitable way. This is because current gains in emissions reduction with energy-efficiency measures are being offset by emissions increase via growing energy and material demand.
Systemically rethinking EU citizens’ lifestyles by designing a transport system that improves wellbeing with less materials and energy is key to unlock untapped potential to meet the aspirational 1.5° C target and climate neutrality by 2050. This paper puts forward four socio-cultural mobility policies aimed at both improving equity and citizen wellbeing whilst reducing GHG emissions.