A new environmental strategy for transport
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has published a new environmental strategy for transport to promote sustainable and technically advanced transport. The key means to this end are not only low-emission vehicle technologies and alternative fuels but also changes in the way the citizens use the various transport modes.
The Environmental Strategy for Transport 2013-2020 defines the key objectives and operating policies of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and its branch of administration for all modes of transport. The Environmental Strategy also contains an update of the Ministry's Climate Policy Programme.
The Environmental Strategy for Transport seeks solutions for three environmental problems associated with transport in which transport plays a major role or in which the development has taken a turn for the worse.
The most central challenges lie in mitigating climate change, reducing the health impacts of transport and protecting the Baltic Sea.
The basic principle of the strategy is that the transport sector environmental policy must support possibilities for green growth. Growth areas include alternative fuels for transport and intelligent transport services.
Emissions from road transport play a key role
Road transport is a particular target area for environmental measures associated with transport, as in this respect, meeting the targets is mainly in our own hands. In addition, the share of emissions and thus the potential for reducing emissions are the greatest in the road transport sector.
In the aviation and shipping sectors, the targets and means for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are mainly decided in international negotiations. The share of rail transport in the greenhouse gas emissions is small compared to other modes of transport.
The means listed in the strategy include working on urban structure and guiding people's transport choices towards low-emission modes. The strategy also advocates a rapid renewal of the vehicle stock, favouring low-emission vehicle technologies and increasing the use of other alternative fuels. Additional means include sustainable design and maintenance of transport infrastructure.
It is likely that new financial guidance instruments will be needed in order for the objectives set out in the strategy to be realised, and intelligent transport services will have to be introduced.
Work for the environment is an element of transport policy
The Environmental Strategy for Transport was prepared in cooperation between the Ministry's administrative branch and other actors in the transport and environment sector.
Certain parts of the Ministry's environmental strategy and the administrative branch's environmental programmes and systems belong to the sphere of long-term transport policy and urban planning. The strategy will mainly be implemented within the spending limits approved for the administrative sector of the Ministry for Transport and Communications.
The Ministry has previously published environmental programmes for the entire branch of administration in 1994, 1999 and 2005. As a result of the structural reform of the administrative branch implemented in 2010, the Ministry's focus is increasingly on strategic issues, while the new agencies concentrate on the perspective of the transport system.
Ms Saara Jääskeläinen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 34 2560