Address by State Secretary Van Velhoven at the plenary opening of the International Transport Forum


”Cooperation is not just desirable. It’s essential. After all, we don’t want zero-emission transport and e-mobility to stop at our borders. This stated State Secretary Van Veldhoven at the summit of transport ministers, 22-24 May in Leipzig, Germany.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for inviting me to speak to you today.

This week, millions of EU citizens will vote for a new European Parliament. Citizens who are realising more and more that working together strengthens our future. In fact, it’s the only real way to truly deliver smart and clean solutions.

Our continent has all the ingredients: high-quality science and research, excellent entrepreneurship and strong green awareness. We have robust businesses and innovative cities. They want to move, today! Therefore, as a member of the Dutch government responsible for the environment AND transport, I’d like to take this opportunity to ask you for your commitment.

The transition towards a new approach to mobility is irreversible.

But we need all energy, to make  smarter, cleaner and more efficient transport happen

So let us make 2020 the start of a decade of ambition, acceleration and action. A time when we face the challenges of low emissions and inclusive transport head on – and anchor them in our policies.

My fellow ministers, it is our responsibility to set the pace, to guide progress and to keep on moving forward.

It is no small task. Moreover, looking ahead, we will need to transport more people and more goods while reducing carbon emissions..

The Dutch government is ambitious. In our policies and regulations, we are removing obstacles and encouraging experimentation and innovation.

For example, call’s last year for climate solutions in transport delivered more than 30 projects.

Appealing projects like distributing goods for supermarkets by e-trucks, the further development of green hydrogen stations and tests with autonomous driving. 

 We can make even more progress if we can build further on alliances for sustainable mobility and transport.

Talking about alliances, tomorrow we talk about the future of the Multilateral Quota System for Road Transport. The Netherlands – together with Ireland and the UK – we will make an attempt to bring this mechanism more in line with sustainability, climate change and geopolitical developments, as well as further market liberalisation and digitalisation.

So trailblazers: please step forward and let’s get to know one another.

The climate benefits of a transition to a zero-emission future are clear.

And, it creates new economic opportunities too.

We’re seeing the results already:
There are more than 150.000 electric cars and 350 buses on the roads. We have a densed and advanced charging network of almost 36.000 charging points, yes we did break the chicken egg problem. There has been a marked increase in jobs, economic growth and exports related to electric driving. Investing in new technology and innovation today, makes efficient and sustainable transport possible tomorrow. Because sustainability pays! That’s why we’re ambitious. But we can’t do it alone: cooperation is not just desirable. It’s essential. After all, we don’t want zero-emission transport and e-mobility to stop at our borders. New international alliances also create new opportunities. And that’s why we want to invite you to join us on our journey to a zero-emission future. Thank you.


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