05.03.2020

Climate-friendly mobility solutions

Dense traffic on a road in Jakarta, Indonesia

The transport sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Innovative solutions like the one in Jakarta help to reduce them. Photo: ITDP

Mobility is indispensable for the majority of people on our planet. This is more so with regards to cars, buses, trains, bicycles and even ships, because without these means of transport many people would not be able to go about their everyday lives. The same also applies to the availability of goods that are transported around the globe, offering consumers a wide range of products. If we had no means of transport, life on earth as we know it would grind to a standstill.

Many of our global transport traffic is powered by fossil fuels, at a high price for our future. The 5th World Climate Report of 2015 shows that the transport sector is one of the main causes of climate change. For example, in 2010 around 23% of global carbon dioxide emissions were attributed to the movement of people and goods. Unfortunately this trend is rising, despite increasingly efficient vehicles. In addition to this, transport is a major contributor to air pollution, especially in cities.

The mobility sector needs to rely much more on alternatives to fossil fuels if we are to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, reduce health risks in our cities and increase the quality of life.

‘Avoid – Shift – Improve – Fuel Switch’ is one approach that is regarded to be globally effective. Specifically, this means to avoid unnecessary travel, encourage the switch to more environmentally-friendly means of transport, improve the efficiency of transport and decarbonise the energy sources of transport.

The Transport and Climate Change Week

Around 250 experts from around the world will meet in Berlin, Germany at the Transport and Climate Change Week (TCCW) from 2 to 6 March 2020. They will discuss on the global challenges and present possible solutions. The key topics of this third TCCW event will include alternative fuels, urban bus systems and climate-friendly logistics; approaches which are also promoted by the IKI.

IKI in support ofclimate-friendly local public transport

The “Reducing Emissions through Integration and Optimization of Public Transport in Jakarta” project improved the first and longest rapid bus transit system in Asia, the TransJakarta. This resulted in the increase of commuters from 330,000  to 1 million per day in. This was achieved by integrating  the TransJakarta  into the city’s new metro, where new routes were introduced and access for pedestrians and cyclists was optimised.

Another project implemented by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), the ”India Sustainable Mobility Initiative”, supports the Indian states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, to leverage cost-effective mass transit infrastructure on a large scale. The project does this by capacity building in the relevant institutions. These activities aim at enabling regional governments to promote high-quality rapid bus transit systems and parking management.

Express bus at a bus stop in Dar es SalaamThe ”Growing Smarter: Sustainable Mobility in East Africa” project supports the implementation of high-quality, local public transport systems in Nairobi, Kigali and Kampala and the expansion of the existing rapid bus transit system in Dar es Salaam. The combination of local public transport with cycling and walking is being optimised and urban development along transport corridors is  supported. The project seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector and contribute to nationally-determined contributions (NDCs), which have identified mobility as an important mitigation factor in the project countries of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Support for decarbonised freight transport

Freight transport also contributes significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions. The ”EcoLogistics: Low carbon freight for sustainable cities” project supports environmentally-friendly freight transport in Argentina, Colombia and India. EcoLogistics creates awareness of the issue in the local and national governments of the partner countries, imparts relevant knowledge and launches demonstration projects that support transformation.

However, as decarbonisation only works with environmentally friendly alternatives, the IKI also supports alternatives, such as with the ”Climate-neutral Alternative Fuels” project in Brazil. This project initially provides theoretical proof of feasibility and economic viability through a transfer of knowledge on the production of climate-neutral fuels. The developed concept is then implemented into a model project.

Clean, safe, affordable and accessible mobility

The IKI also covers a broad range of sustainable mobility solutions with other funded projects. In this way, it supports partner countries and encourages them to invest more of their financial resources in sustainable projects, both in freight and passenger transport and in electric mobility.

All these activities are aimed at creating clean, safe, affordable and accessible mobility worldwide.