Transport Trade Tourism: Emissions are Reduced, Through a Multimodal Approach

Leipzig – June 4, 2015

Report by Simon Johanning , PM and Kurator of IP-GreenMobility – Germany/Leipzig. Press conference PPMC 2015+ On May 27th. The PPMC 2015+ PARIS PROCESS ON MOBILITY AND CLIMATE (PPMC) announces the launch of their website during a press conference in the context of the annual summit of the ITF, the Internal Transport Forum.

Hosted by Cornie Huizenga from SLoCat (Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport) and joined by the panelists Alain Flausch from the International Public Transport Association, Jean Pierre Loubinoux from the International Union of Railways, as well as Patrick Oliva from Michelin, the panel aimed at discussing how to give a voice to the community of sustainable transportation and how to accelerate implementation of climate commitments in the run-up to the Paris COP21 climate negotiations.

Need to implement action in climate advocacy
In his opening statement, Cornie Huizenga stressed the need to implement action in climate advocacy. With regards to emissions of the transport sector, which make out about 23% of the fuel emissions, Huizenga pointed out the shifting patterns on which these emissions are located. There is a discrepancy about whether the emissions grow or shrink, depending on countries. By 2017, he predicts the developing world to surpass the emissions of the developed world, where GDP growth and transport emissions have started to decouple.

Emissions are reduced, through a multimodal approach.
Patrick Oliva stressed the importance of trade to create job opportunities and economic growth, and agreed that the right policy is a growth of transportation while emissions are reduced, through a multimodal approach. This has to be achieved through processes that do not stop in Paris, but go beyond (the + in PPMC 2015+). Up to the Paris COP21 climate negotiations PPMC 2015+ will advocate messages, knowledge, dialogues and events.

Alain Flausch took up on this and remarked that Paris will not solve everything, but instead will set targets that need to be implemented beyond. For achieving this, involving the transport sector will be essential, which needs a paradigm shift towards sustainable transportation. Furthermore he stresses that the civil society needs to be involved. For this awareness needs to be risen in order for the public to raise pressure.

In his opening statement Jean Pierre Loubinoux pointed out the advantage of the railway sector, which makes up only 1% of the global emissions. However, he says, this is not enough, and emissions need to be reduced further, for example through (clean) electrification. He further points out the potential for reduced emissions through a shift from road to rail.

International trade will increase by 350% by 2050
In the ITF lunchtime session on the same day, it was stated that international trade will increase by 350% by 2050, while (in the dynamic model), emissions from international air passenger transport will grow by a factor of four. On the question as to what can be done so that emissions don’t grow, Patrick Oliva saw a big challenge. A doubling, he said, could be compensated, but beyond that this would be a tremendous bet on technology and change of behaviour. He warned about too much traffic between continents, and advocated to make regions more autonomous, leading to smart development.

Jean Paul Loubinoux remarks that simple scaling arithmetic does not work, and depends considerably on the mode of transportation. He sees a need to shift to less polluting shares of the market, notes that the future is present, and that quick development is possible now.

Alain Flausch saw one possibility in reducing motorized mobility, especially in urban areas. In cities many people use cars for less than two kilometers, and in the developed world there is a lot of possibility for reduction through urban planning. He warned that we can’t afford to put everyone in a private car, and that we need to shift the model to massive transportation.

Patrick Oliva also sees a lot of potential in business. On the Paris business development summit, he remarks, that it is clear that emissions have to be reduced in order to reach the 2°C target. This will also be favorable to business since there is an incentive there.

On the remark that private cars do not just cause pollution but also restrict public space, Alain Flausch recognized that this was one of the biggest issues with private cars, which take the city from a public space made for the people to a parking space. He stressed the importance of underground parking and sustainable mobility. As a big success he quoted Copenhagen, which in 1965 casted out cars from the biggest business area.