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The European Union (EU) has set itself the objective of achieving 20 per cent primary energy savings in 2020. This objective is one of the five headline targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. As outlined in the European Commission (EC) communication 'Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050', energy efficiency can help the EU achieve and even outperform its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target. However, the EC's latest estimates suggest that the EU will achieve only half of the 20 per cent target in 2020.

The transport sector is responsible for 31 per cent of energy consumption and 21 per cent of the EU GHG emissions. Contrary to other sectors, GHG emissions in this sector have increased constantly during the last years. Over 40 per cent of all transport-related GHG emissions are produced in European cities. Consequently, the operators of urban mass transit systems are facing increasing demands to provide efficient and cost-effective urban mobility solutions. As energy costs represent one of the most important parts of the operating budget for many public transportations systems, there is an urgent need to improve the energy efficiency of these systems.

In response to these circumstances, Global Mass Transit will host a conference, Energy Efficiency in Public Transportation, on February 7 and 8, 2013, at Steigenberger Grandhotel (formerly The Conrad) in Brussels. The conference aims to bring together diverse stakeholders for exploring creative approaches to develop competitive, smart, sustainable and cost-effective public transportation systems in European cities.

KEY issues to be explored:

  • EU and national level policy directives.
  • Initiatives to increase energy efficiency of existing and upcoming public transport systems.
  • Economic incentives and financing.
  • Role of the public sector.
  • Best practices and lessons learned.
  • Market-based approaches.
  • Stakeholder involvement opportunities.
  • Technological innovation.
  • Delivery of energy efficiency projects.