Background Note on ‘Sustainable Mobility for Future’

Globally, transport remains the leading consumer of energy for most countries. The sector guzzles almost 30% of global energy demand and is responsible for 23% of emissions due to fuel combustion. Transport is also the largest growing emission sector. The risk of climate change reversing the positive impact accompanying economic growth looms large, calling for a concerted effort by countries in decarbonizing this sector.

Realizing the need to address the issue of emissions, pollution, congestion and improving access Governments are transitioning to low carbon mobility alternatives. There is also a greater focus on live ability and wellbeing of citizens. Cities are prioritizing mobility of people over motorized vehicles. Cities in China are adding capacities to their public transport and building BRT systems and expanding rail networks. They are also making way for pedestrian and cycle tracks by tearing down existing highways. London is also investing massively in upgrading and expanding its public transport. London is also encouraging shared mobility like ride hailing services to shift people out of private cars. The city is also transitioning towards adopting lower emission standards and implementing an ultra-low emission zone across London, from 2020 onwards.

Increasingly cities are banning cars and creating car-free zones. Oslo has announced to be completely car-free by 2019. It aims to utilize the car parking space to create more cycle and pedestrian lanes and set a leading example of a people-oriented city.

In the Global South, cities in Africa and Asia are also focusing on people centric mobility. Jakarta with a poor pedestrian infrastructure, for instance, is focusing on building pedestrian access to integrate different transport modes. Ahmedabad, in India has built a BRT network with pedestrian and cycling network incorporated in its design. Cities like Rio- de-Janeiro are building inclusive public transport networks providing mobility options for residents of favelas.

To reduce the emission intensity of transport, countries are also exploring alternate vehicle technologies. Electric vehicles are being hailed as the future of mobility and are expected to constitute almost 30% of the all vehicle sales by 2025.

Even though, socio-economic and geo-political context differ widely across countries and cities, mutual learning can help accelerate shift to low carbon mobility solutions