A race against time and against ourselves. Against the dangerous idea that we can’t do this, that there is no way.
Unlike most races, it won’t have one winner. In this race we all win, or we all lose. Winning it requires a radical, unprecedented level of collaboration, from all corners of our world. From our cities, businesses, regions and investors. From people everywhere.
Together we’re racing for a better world. A zero carbon and resilient world. A healthier, safer, fairer world. A world of wellbeing, abundance and joy, where the air is fresher, our jobs are well-paid and dignified, and our future is clear.
To get there we need to run fast, and get faster. We need more and more people to join the race, and right now. This is not about 2050, it’s about today.
Together, we can do this. And we’re already on our way.
“The agreements we are setting down will ensure that it will be a matter of course that within a few years, supermarket shelves will be stocked, waste will be collected, and packages will arrive on time, yet without any exhaust fumes and CO2 emissions,” she added.
She expects 30 cities to announce zero emission urban logistics by this summer. City councils must give four years’ notice before imposing bans as part of government plans for emission-free road traffic by 2050. The city bans aim to save 1 megaton of CO2 each year by 2030.
Help to change
To encourage transport organizations to go carbon-free, the government is offering grants of more than US$5,900 to help businesses buy or lease electric vehicles. There will be additional measures to help small businesses make the change.
Globally, transport accounts for 24% of world CO2 emissions.
Tilburg, one of the first wave of cities imposing the Dutch ban, will not allow fossil fuelled vehicles on streets within its outer ring road and plans to roll out a network of city-wide electric vehicle charging stations before the ban comes into effect in 2025.
Research by Renault shows that many other European cities are heading in the same direction as the Netherlands, starting with Low Emission Zones of which Germany’s “Umweltzone” were pioneers. More than 100 communes in Italy have introduced “Zonas a traffico limitato”.
Madrid’s “zona de baja emisión” bans diesel vehicles built before 2006 and petrol vehicles from before 2000 from central areas of the city. Barcelona has similar restrictions and the law will require all towns of more than 50,000 inhabitants to follow suit.
Part of the reason for traffic in urban areas is the increase in delivery vehicles, as online shopping continues to grow. Retailer ecommerce sales are expected to pass $5billion in 2022, according to eMarketer.
The World Economic Forum’s report The Future of the Last-Mile Ecosystem, published in January 2020, estimates that e-commerce will increase the number of delivery vehicles on the roads of the world’s 100 largest cities by 36% by 2030.
If all those vehicles burn fossil fuels, the report says emissions will increase by 32%. But switching to all-electric delivery vehicles would cut emissions by 30% from current levels as well as reducing costs by 25%, the report says.
Transitioning to zero and near-zero emission economies is at the core of addressing the three planetary crises outlined by the UN: climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution currently underway. However, decarbonization cannot be treated in isolation. As recognized in the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, “ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies […]
Current efforts in international shipping’s decarbonization focus on fuel-related emissions, however huge reductions can be achieved by progressively switching to steel with lower embodied CO₂ emissions.
We cannot stay aligned with a 1.5 degree C scenario without complementing electrification with strategies that will reduce vehicle kilometers traveled, argue Mohamed Hegazy and Domenik Kohl, Climate Champions Team.