Transport and logistics should not be neglected in communal climate protection concepts, because transport accounts for some 28% of all energy consumption - and the percentage of fossil fuels in transport totals 92.6%.
Environmental policies have addressed this issue by setting target values, i.e. for the permissible level of CO² emissions from vehicles, but also by developing a strategic framework which is reflected in "Europe 2020", the EU growth strategy, as well as in the ERDF 2014-2020 and German energy policy.
But it is now down to the federal states and regions, and indeed the cities, towns and municipalities, to implement this.
No climate concept without a mobility concept
Local authorities should give greater weight to the mobility factor in their climate protection concepts. Innovative vehicle technology, alternative fuels, modal shifts (intermodal transport) and mobility management are all important aspects here.
Local authorities should ask themselves the following questions:
- How can new, climate-friendly technology be introduced successfully? (E.g. electric or gas powered vehicles)
- How can the volume of traffic on the roads be reduced or optimised? (E.g. by means of intermodal connections for cars, trains and bicycles, or car-sharing options)
- How might urban population supplies be secured in the future? (E.g. through the combined road, rail and water freight traffic thresholds)
Communal decision makers - public transport companies, public utility companies, local councils and industries, for example - should be involved in the search for answers to these questions. Because new mobility concepts will only be successful if they are attractive, and improve the people's quality of life.
Clean air through electric vehicles
On the subject of quality of life: the air will be noticeably cleaner once electric vehicles have established themselves throughout Europe. People are directly affected by the particulates and nitrogen oxide emitted in exhaust fumes. Data on the quality of air in North Rhine Westphalia, for example, shows that nitrogen dioxide still exceeds threshold values.
Just how urgently action needs to be taken can be judged from the EUA report "Quality of Air in Europe - 2012". The most important observation: of all air pollutants, atmospheric particulate matter (PM) poses the greatest health risk in Europe.
Mobility is the nut and bolt of the climate concept
Organising mobility is the most important factor on the path to a green town. Involving decision makers from transport, local councils and industry is a first step on the road to developing a systematic transport and mobility concept.
In order for such a concept to be widely accepted, decision-makers from public administration and industry need to be involved.