A strong environmental impact
Beyond the considerable environmental consequences (passenger and freight transport generate around a third of GHG emissions in France), the report of the Senate Committee on regional planning and sustainable development points to other forms of pollution generated by the transport of goods and in particular road freight:
- noise ;
- traffic congestion;
- degradation of the road;
- high accidentology;
- artificialization of soils …
France appears to be a poor student at the European level, having less developed than its neighbors in rail and waterway modes, which are far less polluting (respectively nine times and five times less CO2 emitting). Among the reasons for this poor positioning, the Senate report mentions:
- a higher cost of rail and river modes for contractors;
- poor condition of existing infrastructure (rails, waterways);
- low quality of service, with little incentive, in rail freight;
- greater dispersion of orders across the territory.
Faced with this observation, the rapporteurs recommend 40 measures which revolve around four main axes:
- a massification (logistics grouping) of goods transport by making the most of each mode of transport (road, rail, river);
- a reduction in all the nuisances linked to road transport of goods through greater intervention by local public actors (municipal and prefectural decrees) and work on common European standards;
- a strategy for decarbonizing road freight transport (“eco-contribution” rather than eco-tax) which overcomes the differences that still exist, in particular around the proposals of the Citizens’ Convention for the Climate ;
- a reinvention of urban freight transport responsible for 25% of CO2 emissions in cities; and e-consumers’ awareness of the environmental impact of their delivery.
Regarding the decarbonisation of goods transport vehicles, the report recalls the objective of zero new fossil-fueled vehicles by 2040, enshrined in the mobility orientation law (LOM law) of December 2019 , which should guide manufacturers towards the electrification of light commercial vehicles (LCV).
In this area, efforts must be made to lower the costs of “clean” vehicles, develop rapid recharging of batteries and, pending the arrival of electric heavy goods vehicles, develop biofuels.