EASST partners have been giving evidence and formulating plans for action on Fuel Economy at the regional launch of the 50by50 Campaign in Hungary. Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST) in partnership with the FIA Foundation, Global Fuel economy Initiative and the Regional Environment Centre (REC) hosted the first ever major symposium on fuel economy involving the full region in Szentendre, Hungary.

The workshop, which was attended by representatives from 23 CEE countries, heard presentations from a wide range of speakers with expertise on fuel economy, energy prospects and mobility trends. Introducing the event, Marte Szigeti Bonifert, Executive Director of the REC said ‘It is a pleasure to have you here today to consider this important issue for our region. We must act now – time is already running out.’

With presentations from, amongst others, the International Energy Agency, The State Oil Corporation of Azerbaijan, the Caucasus Environmental Network, Green Car Club Georgia and the UN Environment Programme, participants were encouraged to work together to consider the many ways in which the issue of fuel economy impacts upon their country and the wider region. Links were established between fuel economy, energy security, individual prosperity and of course, climate protection, and policy options such as fiscal policy, regulation and standard setting were considered.

In a lively and useful discussion several common themes emerged, amongst them the need to address driver behaviour; the vital role of second-hand and imported vehicles; and the place of enforcement and monitoring. In particular, attendees agreed that a ‘CEE Fuel Economy Network’ of interested individuals would be a useful and welcome development in promoting further consideration and action on the issue across the region.