BMW Mini E prototype available for test driving at the COP15 site

BMW Mini E prototype available for test driving at the COP15 site

Transportation is currently one of the major contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, and it is different from other kinds of emissions in that it is highly prevalent across countries. Projections indicate that emissions from the transportation sector will double by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. In order to curtail these increasing emissions, important structural changes need to be made in (a) the technology applied to means of transportation, (b) the way spaces are conceived of, and (c) individuals’ conception of space, travel and the use of resources.

Technological improvements that significantly decrease the carbon intensity of transportation have been or are being developed, and need to be deployed in a systematic way – the electric car is a good example of this kind of technology. The use of cleaner technologies should be supported by the design of sustainably planned urban spaces, in which the need for mobility is decreased through a more efficient use of space. Growing megacities, such as London, Tokyo and Beijing, and sprawl development areas common in the US should be main targets for urban redesign. Lastly, it is necessary to redefine the social norms regarding individual choice of transportation, urging individuals to take advantage of public transportation, carbon neutral transportation (such as walking and biking), and denormalizing the use of cars for short distance trips.

Even though the first two changes necessary to create a sustainable mobility model involve large-scale, long-term developments, it is possible for individuals to start contributing to mitigation efforts now by choosing cleaner ways to travel. So starting today, you can commute to school or work by bike and reduce your carbon footprint.

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