Event Covered on Friday, 13 December 2019
The following event was covered by IISD Reporting Services on Friday, 13 December 2019:
Text written by IISD/ENB | Wanja Dorothy Nyingi, Ph.D., and Tallash Kantai
Photos by IISD/ENB | Diego Noguera
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Implications of Sustainable Mobility Ecosystems in Global Climate Action
Presented by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), with the Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP)
This event highlighted the importance of building on the existing work and knowledge in the sustainable mobility space, with panelists sharing examples of the deployment of appropriate low carbon transport solutions to accelerate the low carbon transformation smoothly.
Mallika Bose, Senior Assistant Director, FICCI, moderated the event. Kolluru Krishan, Chair, FICCI Climate Change Committee, and Chairman, CVC India Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, reported that transitioning to sustainable mobility can produce initial losses, noting for example that 17.8% of the government’s revenue is from fossil fuel taxes. He underscored that opportunities lie also within these losses citing that phasing out old commercial vehicles feed into circular economy through recycling. He concluded that the blend of pros and cons of multiple technologies for sustainable mobility can create positive impacts towards transitioning to circular economy development paths.
Bose presented on developing a roadmap for decarbonizing the transport sector in India, as part of meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. She noted that this process is multi-stakeholder and driven by bottom-up approaches, and highlighted outcomes including development of an integrated approach and vision for decarbonization of the sector by 2050. Outlining components of the decarbonization roadmap, she noted major concerns on how to leverage implementation financing for the roadmap. She highlighted multi-stakeholder involvement in roadmap development, noting the importance of capacity building for stakeholders to understand how innovations in the transport sector can generate positive outcomes for both mitigation and adaptation.
Ramón Cruz, Senior Advisor to the Secretary General, SLoCaT, reported on the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance, which is a collaboration of countries, cities and companies to decarbonize the transport sector. He highlighted the “Transport and Climate Change Global Status Report,” produced once every two years, which describes trends in transport emissions and sets baseline that enable track progress of transport related climate action. He further reported on joint initiatives with the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate to engage the transport community at the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC COP25) to advance safe, efficient, affordable and low carbon mobility.
Speaking on the role of transport in assisting both cities and rural areas to decarbonize, Krishan noted that rural areas, bioenergy and e-rickshaws may be more practical decarbonization solutions, noting that the latter would require investments in charging stations. He also spoke on the importance of financing instruments at the city level to drive this change. He stressed the need for a realistic, holistic, sustainable path to decarbonization that prioritizes both the environment and the economy.
Alok Tewari, Principal Executive Director, Railway Board, Ministry of Railways, discussed perspectives from the Indian Railways Company. Citing the slogan “going green is good for business,” he reported that the railway sector aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 33% of 2005 levels by 2030 by, inter alia: increasing the share of renewable energy; blending biofuels in traction diesel fuel; and tree planting to improve carbon sinks. Reporting progress, he noted that the railway sector has so far reduced 25% of its emissions.
Cruz, speaking for the ITDP, highlighted the company’s mantra of “Avoid-Shift-Improve,” explaining that it encourages people to avoid unnecessary travel, shift to more environmentally-friendly modes of transport, and improve energy efficiency in the transport sector. He said that automation still promotes traffic and thus emissions, stressing that working to “Avoid-Shift-Improve” is more likely to get the world on the path to limiting global warming to 2°C. He highlighted a more efficient bus rapid transit (BRT) system deployed in a hundred cities across the world, and stressed the need for the development and deployment of the correct infrastructure, such as specialized bus stops and wide bike lanes, to promote the use of low-carbon transport options. He also drew attention to the need for security to encourage people to use low-carbon transport technologies, noting that in safe cities, people bike more. He noted that land-use choices can also influence the use of low-carbon transportation, and drew attention to a BRT Planning Guide and walkability tools, which can encourage decarbonization in the transport sector.
Via video message, Nicolas Beaumont, Senior Vice President, Sustainable Development and Mobility, Michelin Group, emphasized the role that mobility plays in providing jobs, promoting culture, and connecting people with loved ones, and stressed the need to ensure mobility options are cleaner, safer, more accessible and more efficient. He reaffirmed thecommitment of the Michelin Foundation to help decarbonize India’s transport sector by 2050, and cited work with SLoCaT to develop the Global Roadmap of Action toward Sustainable Mobility to guide the future of mobility, and which aims to connect 1 billion people, increase GDP by USD 2.6 trillion, and cut 1.8 gigatons of CO2.