In 2022, policymakers aim to tackle combustion engine cars, truckers’ rights and air traffic control.
FREMONT, CA: Climate and COVID dominated transportation in 2021 and will continue to do so in 2022. But there will be a lot more going on in mobility, from figuring out the details of phasing out combustion engine cars to ongoing battles over trucking reforms and the never-ending effort to streamline air traffic services. In the face of successive waves of the coronavirus, the European Commission spent the majority of 2021 attempting to keep the EU's internal borders open and free of restrictions.
The Digital COVID Certificate allowed the bloc to reintroduce travel for people who could demonstrate a low risk of contracting the virus following an infection or a vaccination. But, due to Omicron, the certificate will no longer be valid from February without a booster shot, nine months after the first round of vaccinations. Countries will also have to decide how to update travel rules as the epidemiological situation within the bloc, as well as how to handle travel from outside the EU. In the long run, there is still work to be done on the Commission's strategy to convince countries to not fall back on border closures when the next crisis strikes and also reboot the EU’s Schengen free-travel area.
After the Commission proposed 2035 as the end date for the sale of new gasoline and diesel-powered cars and vans in July's Fit for 55 legislative packages, EU negotiators will spend 2022 negotiating a combustion engine phaseout. The debate is over when to set the deadline and whether to allow some exceptions, such as efforts by countries to allow wiggle room for engines that use clean fuels. Dutch liberal Jan Huitema, the European Parliament's rapporteur on CO2 standards legislation, stepped up the tempo by calling for a series of mid-point targets ahead of 2035, on which the environment committee will hold on Jan 13, 2022.