French-Swedish Strategic Partnership for innovation and green solutions in the transport sector
Swedish and French Ministers Tomas Eneroth and Elisabeth Borne agree to take decisive steps in Gothenburg to implement the French-Swedish Strategic Partnership for innovation and green solutions in the transport sector.
Building on the assessment that the fight against climate change and the shift towards a more sustainable and resilient economy is a major global challenge, the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron and the Prime minister of the Kingdom of Sweden Stefan Löfven decided to join forces and to sign, on 17/11/2017 in Gothenburg, a far-reaching and ambitious strategic partnership for innovation and green solutions. This partnership will structure our bilateral relationship for the years to come and play a key role in advocating for the greening of economies at national, European and world level, and in helping both countries to fulfill the SDGs.
The partnership covers four priority areas, one of which being "Green solutions for transport, clean energy and smart cities", with the purpose to "focus on developing highly innovative solutions for our cities and societies to address new environmental conditions. This will require reduced greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector and solutions for building green, inclusive and sustainable cities".
Sharply reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector is indeed a priority for both Sweden and France, as transport accounts for the major part of CO2 emissions. Sweden has already set a goal to reduce domestic transport emissions (not including aviation) by at least 70 per cent by 2030 compared with 2010. France has announced its ambitions to end the sale of cars that run on fossil fuels by 2040. In this context, France has proposed to Sweden to join the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance, which is a combination of countries, cities and companies acting with great ambition against climate change.
Joining forces to develop together innovative solutions, by reaping the benefits of digital transition, is also a key component of the French-Swedish partnership: the roadmap of the partnership paves the way for deepening our bilateral exchanges on the cross-use of testbeds, especially as regards projects related to autonomous and connected driving and electric roads, and for working even more closely on strategic issues such as battery development, or digital transformation of transport including "mobility as a service" solutions.
The French and Swedish Ministers Elisabeth Borne and Tomas Eneroth have, since the signature of the partnership, been strongly and continuously committed in implementing its roadmap in the transport sector and in reinforcing substantially the cooperation between both countries. A joint workshop between both Ministers and key Swedish and French industrial stakeholders was organized as a side event of the SOLUTRANS Trade fair in Lyon (November 2017), where Sweden was the guest of honour. Several meetings also took place at technical level between both countries in the past six months, to operationalize the actions set out in the partnership.
Both Ministers agree, on 19 June in Gothenburg, in the margins of the Third High Level Dialogue on autonomous and connected vehicles organized by Minister Tomas ENEROTH, to take decisive steps to intensify the cooperation between Sweden and France in the following three key areas, as detailed in annex, with dedicated commitments on each topic:
- autonomous and connected vehicles, with the objectives to cross-exchange on the concrete results achieved by French and Swedish experiments on connected, cooperative and automated driving, in order to share regulations, results and experiences and identify critical solutions, and to make use of common tests and testbeds, from 2018, regarding truck platooning, in connection with relevant stakeholders including the most involved private companies and clusters;
- green vehicles, with the aim to explore the possibility to include France in the German-Swedish partnership for Electric Road Systems. First step would be to organize, by the end of 2018, an unconditional information meeting between ministries in France, Germany and Sweden;
- rail and other transport modes, with the idea, inter alia, to organize in Stockholm, during the autumn 2018, a French-Swedish Expertise meeting on High Speed Lines (HSL), to put HSL in a strategic long term perspective, taking into account French expertise in this field.
"Two days after the signature of the Innovation partnership between our two countries, we were in Lyon with my Swedish counterpart to discuss how to implement it in the field of green and connected mobility. Today, in Gothenburg, we are delivering. We will work closely together on topics on which we have to learn from each other. Sweden experiments in industrial autonomous vehicles and electrified roads will be very useful: we will share best practices, conduct tests in common and prepare our new regulations. And we do not forget that clean transport means massive solutions, like high speed rail, where France is certainly one of the very few world leaders", Elisabeth Borne says.
"I am happy to see that the French-Swedish partnership is delivering. At the meeting today, we have discussed a number of topics where we see that France and Sweden can cooperate even closer. I see great potential for, among other things, cooperation both on electric roads and connected and automated driving. We hope that the partnership can inspire both public and private bodies to reach out, exchange knowledge and information, and find new areas for cooperation", Tomas Eneroth says.