Transport plays an essential role in the social and economic life of every European. It also accounts for about 20% of Europe’s primary energy consumption. About 98% of the energy used by the transport sector comes from fossil fuels1, which makes it a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. This state of affairs also contributes to images1
the European Union’s (EU) dependency on energy imports. While efficient and reliable transport is vital to Europe’s competitiveness and quality of life, increasing demand has generated significant negative impacts on the economy and environment. In addition, transport is the fastest growing sector in terms of energy use: forecasts estimate an increase in demand of 50% for freight transport and 35% for passenger transport by 2020.2 The EU is determined to do something about this situation. By 2020, the EU is committed to achieving at least a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the entire economy, compared to 1990 levels. It also aims to reduce general energy consumption by 20% compared to projections and increase the market share of renewables to 20%.
Transport has its part to play in meeting these goals. According to the European Commission’s Action Plan for Energy Efficiency, the transport sector has the potential to cut its energy use by about 26%. To achieve this, Europe cannot simply rely on developing green technologies and improvements in infrastructure. Shifting to greener modes of transport and soft measures – such as transport demand management schemes, awareness-raising, and education and training – can play a significant role, as underlined in the Commission’s Green Paper for Urban Transport3. Europe’s mobility culture and travel habits have to change and embrace more sustainable transport choices. Making people aware of the environmental and social impacts of unsustainable travel choices and educating consumers in order to create a larger
market for tried and tested energy-efficient vehicles is the key to success for any sustainable mobility policy.
STEER, Intelligent Energy – Europe’s mobility action, addresses energy aspects of transport.

STEER’s main objective is to make transport energy use more sustainable by stimulating demand for alternative fuels and clean and energy-efficient vehicles. It also aims to promote the use of the leastpolluting transport modes, a more rational use of cars and integrated urban development policies that support sustainable transport.
Since 2004, STEER has co-funded 34 mobility projects, which are delivering tangible results. More than 100 cities have received help to promote modal shift towards zero-emission transport. Analysis and assessment of barriers that prevent people from leaving their cars at home, urban planning, public events and campaigns have all been harnessed to promote a new culture of safe walking and cycling. Private and public companies, industrial clusters and schools all over Europe have reduced their impact on urban congestion and their emissions by implementing mobility plans, including measures to promote a shift from car use to more sustainable transport modes for everyday home-workplace journeys.
About 200 companies have been encouraged to optimise their vehicle fleets and operations. Energy consumption has been reduced 5-15% thanks to measures implemented under STEER. This has increased the companies’ competitiveness both in terms of reducing costs and through the cultivation of a ‘greener’ image.
Energy-efficient driving (eco-driving) has reached more than 2.5 million motorists in Europe thanks to STEER projects. And, people of all ages have been made aware of the value of good-quality public transport, car sharing and bike sharing as alternatives for their daily trips via tailored information campaigns and direct marketing initiatives supported by STEER.


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