Kyoto Club & Transport & Environment: Allocate €41 Billion to Sustainable Mobility

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Originally published on Transport & Environment.
By Veronica Aneris, Director, Italy

€41.15 billion of PNRR recovery funds should go for a sustainable recovery of the Italian transport sector. Focus on urban and regional mobility, electrification of transport and ecological transition of the automotive industry. These are the proposals of Kyoto Club and Transport Environment illustrated in the new report A Recovery and Resilience Plan for Sustainable Mobility that will be commented on today at the annual Kyoto Club conference on the Paris Agreement. Resources that put cities at the center, together with a green and just transition of the production sector of the transport sector, are critical.

Nissan e-NV200 electric van charging in Northern Italy. Image courtesy of Tomek Gac, Tesla Shuttle, CleanTechnica.

According to Kyoto Club and Transport Environment, who viewed the draft of the Council of Ministers of 7 December 2020 of the PNRR, the Italian Recovery Plan is too unbalanced on major works, which would absorb most of the resources in an inefficient way both from the point of view of necessary and rapid decrease of CO2 emissions that it is urgent to induce in the sector, both from a social and economic point of view. To decarbonise the sector and relaunch transport in a green version, rather, the following is included: a decisive boost to the networks for cycling, pedestrian access and the regeneration of urban space, targeted actions for the electrification of transport, the enhancement of electric LPT, shared mobility and intermodal hubs in the stations, delivery logistics zero-emission goods, and an adequate charging network to allow electric mobility to continue with the positive trend that characterized 2020.

“The goal of dedicating resources and projects to urban mobility, envisaged by the SUMPs of the cities, becomes” one of the many “objectives and does not assume the central role it deserves for its weight and impact, to improve services for citizens and businesses. In the draft of the text, on the other hand, the aim is once again to strengthen the large high-speed works rather than giving priority to local and regional transport and the strengthening of the railway networks in the south. The judgment on the individual projects and their quality remains open, given that they are indicated in an aggregate and summary way, without a precise definition of the resources assigned. Just as the overall sustainability of the PNRR will be verified, which cannot be limited to the green part of 37%,” specifies Anna Donati, coordinator of the Kyoto Club Sustainable Mobility Working Group.

We also need industrial policies decided to allow the industrial sector to keep up with the times and avert the risk of Italy being cut off from the electric mobility revolutionThe electrification of transport represents one of the most important industrial revolutions of the present century and an urgent need for the sector, which in the face of a lack of innovation could find itself in serious difficulty. Thanks to the funds allocated by the PNRR, we can accelerate the drive to reconvert our industry in an ecological key and guarantee a solid future for the automotive sector and its workforce.

“This is our chance to complete that transition to a net zero emission economy by 2050, realizing the philosophy that underlies the Paris Agreement and the most recent European Green Deal. Among the various measures, we highlight those for a Green reindustrialisation of our transport sector in order to make up for the delay we have accumulated. The indication of a date, 2030, beyond which only electric cars will be sold represents a formidable stimulus to accelerate investments in this new supply chain. The time has come to give concrete answers to the crisis that citizens and townspeople are going through,” says the scientific director of Kyoto Club, Gianni Silvestrini.

With regard to the governance of the PNRR, the associations also ask for the establishment of a permanent consultation committee of environmental associations, in order to ensure that the green part of the fund (at least 37%) is spent in favor of the ecological transition and that the 100% is allocated in compliance with the sustainability criteria.

Veronica Aneris, Director of T&E for Italy, adds: “We are borrowing this money from future generations and it is our duty to ensure the construction of new and solid foundations for sustainable development and the environmental, energy and social transition that we urgently need. Using these resources to continue fueling the business as usual economy based on fossil fuels would be not only a serious strategic mistake, but also ethically unacceptable. Competences in the field of environment and sustainability must be at the center of the PNRR process both in the planning and selection phase of projects and in the implementation and operational phase. This is why we ask for the establishment of an environmental responsibility advisory committee that also sees environmental associations involved.”

In Italy, in 2018, greenhouse gas emissions from transport amounted to 108 million tons of CO2, equivalent to 26% of total emissions. Compared to 1990, emissions from transport instead of decreasing, as required by international climate agreements, have increased.

The achievement of the new CO2 emission reduction target of the EU block, recently raised by 2030 from 40% to 55%, requires a drastic reduction of emissions from the transport sector over the next 10 years.

To find out more: Follow video of the Kyoto Club annual conference on the Paris Agreement Climate, Transport and Recovery Fund Next Generation EU on the Kyoto Club YouTube page today.

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Transport & Environment’s (T&E) vision is a zero-emission mobility system that is affordable and has minimal impacts on our health, climate and environment. Created over 30 years ago, we have shaped some of Europe’s most important environmental laws.

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