The first objective of the Transport Protocol of the Alpine Convention (art. 1 (a)) is "to pursue a sustainable transport policy which will reduce the negative effects of and risks posed by intra-Alpine and transalpine transport to a level which is not harmful to people, flora and fauna and their environments and habitats. "Promoting sustainable transport" is also one of the six priorities set in the Multiannual Work Programme 2017-2022 of the Alpine Convention. At medium-term, the Contracting Parties to the Alpine Convention aim at decoupling economic growth from an ever-increasing transport demand.
A Transport Protocol Working group was initially mandated to elaborate and negotiate the Transport Protocol of the Alpine Convention, which was adopted in the year 2000. In 2002 the Working Group was mandated to support the exchange of information and experience among the Parties of the Alpine Convention, related to chapter IV of the Transport Protocol (“Monitoring and Evaluation”).
Since then, the Transport Working Group has been operating on the basis of two-year mandates on specific issues. A major focus of the work in recent years was the assessment and internalization of the real cost of road and rail transport (art. 14 of the Protocol) especially with reference to the implementation of the Eurovignette directive. The working group has also been investigating sustainable passenger mobility, as well as innovative logistics solutions, including innovations in the rail system, combined transport and the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. In parallel, it is tackling the topic of the reduction of transport demand.
The Transport Working Group also supports with its expertise two important processes within the Alpine Convention. On the one hand, it is participating in the elaboration of the 8th Report on the state of the Alps. On the other hand, its activities contribute to the achievement of the transport related climate goals defined in the Alpine Climate Target System 2050. The Transport Working Group also regularly exchanges information with different bodies working on transport in the Alps, such as EUSALP AG4 and the Zurich Process.
The main current objectives of the Transport Working Group under the 2019-2021 mandate consist of drafting a position paper to be considered at the XVI Alpine Conference on the modal shift of Alpine freight transit by 2050, collecting and analyzing good practices in reducing transport demand through transport-saving spatial structures, new working solutions, pooling of shipments, regional distribution chains and changed mobility and behavioral patterns, studying the potential of existing and new technologies for sustainable passenger transport in the Alps, such as hydrogen-powered trains and of providing an alpine-wide overview of the impacts of transport in the Alps on air quality and the effectiveness of impact mitigation measures, for the 8th Report on the state of the Alps.
Overview of the activities, documents, and results
Public workshop: "Road transport security in the Alps and risk management related to natural hazards: challenges, best practices and possible long-term solutions", Saint Vincent, 15 October 2013
Sub-group "Sustainable Mobility" (2008-2014)
"Mobility solutions in the Alps" Database (2015)
Sustainable mobility solutions in remote Alpine territories (2014)
Sustainable Solutions for logistics and urban freight delivery in the Alpine Region (2014)
Report Alpine Urban Mobility (2011)