Low-carbon transport key to combat climate change

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Philippine EnviroNews, Paris, France

The transport industry has committed to combat climate change at at the United Nations climate change summit through the Paris Declaration on Electro-Mobility and Climate Change and Call to Action, which brings together individual and collective commitments to increase electro-mobility to levels compatible with a less-than 2-degree pathway.

Transport contributes almost one-quarter or 23 percent of the current global energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and is growing faster than any other energy end-use sector. The declaration said that the GHG emissions from transport are anticipated to rise from today’s levels by nearly 20 percent by 2030 and close to 50 percent by year 2050 unless major action is undertaken.

A large-scale shift to electric-powered vehicles globally could lower carbon emissions if it represents at least 35 percent of global sales in 2030, according to the International Energy Agency.

The Paris Declaration, announced by France’s Ecology Minister Segolene Royal, builds on current successful experiences worldwide and the converging interest of all transport modes for hybrid or electric solutions.

Partners to the Declaration commit to broaden their efforts and call for a decisive joint effort towards sustainable transport electrification – including that at least 20 percent of all road vehicles are to be electrically powered by 2030.

Major carmakers such as Tesla Motors, Michelin Nissan-Renault, UNEP, the IEA and multiple key initiatives endorsed the initiative.

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In developing nations, transport demand is always rising especially for highly urbanized metropolitan cities such as Metro Manila.

Like in most developing Southeast Asian countries, mobile vehicles contribute to 71 percent of air pollution in the Philippines. These smoke from vehicles include greenhouse gases and other carcinogens, such as particulate matter that when inhaled in significant amounts can cause lung cancer over time.

 ICLEI director Konrad Otto-Zimmerman said that city-wide experiments in the adoption of electric cars and other low-carbon vehicles showed that it is the way to build more sustainable cities in the future.
“Mainstreaming climate adaptation into city transport is a requirement for every nation that seeks to build green cities of the future,” Otto-Zimmerman said.

He added that transport should go beyond filling roads with cars—it should focus on providing quality of life on how people move from one place to another, while also taking care of the environment.