Connecting SMEs for a green economy

Policy brief - How can SMEs help decarbonise the EU transport sector?

Chris Hopkins's picture

The GreenEcoNet team is proud to present the 4th policy brief in our series, entitled 'Decarbonising the EU economy by 2050: the contribution of SMEs to the decarbonisation of the transport sector".

As with other publications in the series, this policy brief is based on an expert literature review and conversations with GreenEcoNet stakeholders and other experts. It examines the role SMEs can play in decarbonising the EU transport sector, exploring the support mechanisms and barriers currently in place and makes recommendations for improvements in policy.

Check out the abstract below, and click here to read policy brief in full.

SMEs should be better integrated into the European policy framework on the decarbonisation of transport. The objective of this policy brief is to identify policy recommendations aimed at creating an enabling environment which could allow the European Union to take full advantage of the potential SME contribution in the decarbonisation of the EU transport sector by 2050, by accelerating the implementation of low carbon transport solutions.

Main policy messages 

  • Financial barriers should be lowered, possibly with the implementation of well monitored, specific channel dedicated to SMEs which find access to finance to be one of the major barriers to the uptake of green solutions.
  • Access to funding should be simplified, since bureaucracy and administration costs take a higher proportional toll on SMEs due to their lack of skills and capacity.
  • Necessary to identify instruments for the provision of information, skills improvement and capacity both from the technology and the business planning points of view.
  • Good examples of instruments to lower bureaucratic, skills and capacity barriers exist; More should be done to maintain these instruments over long periods of time.

Topi, Neale, Manoli, Hopkins, Rinaldi & Vega Barbero (2016) Decarbonising the EU economy by 2050: the contribution of SMEs to the decarbonisation of the transport sector. GreenEcoNet Policy Brief No. 4. Weblink

For any further information on the briefing, please contact Corrado Topi, SEI York (