EU Green Week 2021: How CEN & CENELEC contribute to the fight against transport air pollution


This year’s edition of the EU Green Week, which is beginning today, 31 May, is dedicated to the “zero pollution ambition”. Every year, millions of people are directly or indirectly affected by air pollution in the European Union. The transport sector is one of the major causes of its pollution and it deeply impacts the health of the population, and particularly of people who live in areas of very intense traffic.


As the European Union is deploying a series of actions to tackle this issue, CEN and CENELEC standards are key tools in the strategy to improve the emissions quality of transport. They massively contribute to the deployment of cleaner transport technologies and foster the modal shift towards cleaner modes of transport.

The deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure

The uptake of cleaner transport is only possible if alternative fuels such hydrogen, LNG, CNG or electricity are developed. But that is not enough: what is needed is also the massive deployment of refuelling points. Most of all, we need to be sure that whatever the vehicle we drive, and wherever we are, we will always be able to find a compatible refuelling point.

This is precisely where European standards play a fundamental role: in support of Directive 2014/94/EU, CEN and CENELEC develop standards to ensure the interoperability of alternative fuels infrastructure across all EU Member States. Thanks to European standards, the deployment of cleaner cars, trucks, buses and ships is possible everywhere in Europe.

The modal shift towards railways

Fostering the modal shift towards the less polluting modes of transport is a second axe. The shift of passengers and freight transport from the road to less polluting means of transport like trains is a huge challenge. To accomplish this massive shift from road to rail, the capacity and the interoperability of the railways network must be increased.

CEN and CENELEC play a key role also in this mission: European standards ensure the safety and compatibility for trains and railways infrastructure across the twenty-seven EU Member States. How? By providing a common technical point of reference to the engineers who build trains and tracks, whatever the country and whatever the technology used.

Providing a common reference for all the engineers working on alternative fuels infrastructure and railways application, CEN and CENELEC work every day for the reduction of emissions of the transport sector in the European Union.




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