One of the biggest environmental challenges we face today is the emissions resulting from our current modes of mobility, and a transition to a sustainable transport system is essential. In order to achieve this, there are challenges to be address such as reducing greenhouse gases, improved air quality, optimizing spaces, and reducing automobile traffic to create a better quality of life for residents.
A major part of this transition focuses on CO2 emissions, as well as fossil fuel dependency. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the transport sector contributes 24% of the total global emissions. When we focus solely on the transportation sector, the road transport of passengers and goods represents over 70% of the sector’s emissions. The average emissions per capita differ between the European countries with a range from 4-10 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per person and year, but all countries are far above the level of 1-2 tonnes regarded as sustainable.
If we are to reach the vision of the EU’s climate neutrality goal by 2050, we, need to change, and it should be fast. Yet, the transition of transport modes remains a big puzzle to solve.
Mobility has an integral role in our everyday life. If we look at local, regional, or national travel patterns, it’s comprised of thousands or millions of individual decisions, of which a large portion are made from habits or routine. Adding to that the individual choices of vehicle, transport services, public transportation, infrastructure, strategies, policies, and decision-makers, we start to see the complexity of the system and how much there is that we need to consider when starting this transition.
Energy agencies across Europe have an important role as facilitators in this crucial work. We need to raise awareness about the urgency, the complexity but also how to start to make changes. If we, together, educate municipalities, citizens and businesses about Ecomobility and key aspects like “door-to-door” mobility, they will gain a wider perspective to consider the full journey and sustainable options when planning everything from day-to-day travel to the whole transport systems.