How are we reducing greenhouse gas emissions from urban mobility?

Dec 10, 2010 by Annette Ostrand

Forty percent of all road transport CO2 emissions come from urban mobility, according to the European Commission. Many projects aim to reduce greenhouse emissions while simultaneously improving mobility.

Within a project called Ticket to Kyoto five European public transport companies try to drastically reduce their CO2 emissions. These companies are Dutch RET, British GMPTE, German moBiel, French RATP and Belgian STIB. Some of the measures are to use movement sensors and timers to lower the in stations, teach drivers to drive in an eco-friendly way by smoother acceleration and deceleration, recover energy released when the metros and trams brake, recover heat from passing metros to heat buildings, use more efficient heating installations warming the tracks during winter and through a large communication campaign mobilise companies and citizens to be more eco- friendly.

are also working on sustainable solutions to lower greenhouse gas emissions. This year Daimler has launched the e-mobility Italy project in cooperation with the Italian energy provider Enel in charge of the infrastructure. The network will include over 400 charging stations. For the project’s duration inhabitants in Pisa, Rome and Milan will drive 100 battery-powered electric automobiles from Mercedes-Benz and smart. These vehicles provide locally emission-free driving. A similar project was started in Berlin in 2008 and in 2007 a pilot test begun in London involving public authorities. Daimler is planning to continue to other cities in both Europe and the U.S.

In Stockholm all inner city buses are using renewable fuels and renewable electricity is making all commuter trains and subways run. The bus fleet running on ethanol is the world’s largest and electricity/ethanol hybrid buses are presently tested. In Madrid, the city council’s goal is to have only clean vehicles in its public fleets by next year. Stockholm Public Transport (SL) will encourage the region’s companies to more often use public transport for local business trips through measures such as new infrastructure, increased service frequency and environmental information.

Another way that Stockholm has reduced greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time enhanced mobility, is through its Bicycle programme. This includes for example investments in the existing bike network, new bicycle connections, parking and traffic lights. Over the past ten years the number of cyclists using the present 760 km of cycle lanes has increased by 75 percent.

In 2005 Stockholm’s greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, electricity and heating were 4 tons per inhabitant. In 2009 they had been reduced to 3.4 tons and the goal is to reach 3 tons no later than 2015. If this is achieved it would mean a decrease of 44 percent per inhabitant compared with the level in 1990 (5.4 tons). The city was elected the first European green capital by the European Commission due to the capital’s long-term environmental work. SL aims to provide a 100 percent fossil free bus service by 2025 and the city strives to be totally independent of fossil fuels by 2050.

Many ambitious projects are taking place right now and unforeseen circumstances will most likely delay some of them. However, within the coming years we will definitely see a reduction of from urban mobility in many places.

Explore further: Going nuts? Turkey looks to pistachios to heat new eco-city

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Stockholm's Green City award for what you can't see

Apr 02, 2010

A fisherman braces to reel in a large, wriggling salmon, its scales glistening in the sun as he lays his catch down, not on a sandy river bank but on the bustling cobblestone walkway outside parliament, at ...

World's mayors tackle climate change on their own

Dec 14, 2009

(AP) -- It isn't easy getting Italy's city dwellers out of their Fiats, off their Vespa scooters and onto bicycles to ride to work, "like here in Copenhagen," says an Italian environmental official.

Recommended for you

Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US

Apr 17, 2014

The White House Thursday announced a series of measures aimed at increasing solar energy production in the United States, particularly by encouraging the installation of solar panels in public spaces.

Tailored approach key to cookstove uptake

Apr 17, 2014

Worldwide, programs aiming to give safe, efficient cooking stoves to people in developing countries haven't had complete success—and local research has looked into why.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

( —Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä is the man behind the Vipukirves Leveraxe, which is a precision tool for splitting firewood. He designed the tool to make the job easier and more efficient, with ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...