Urban transport a key puzzle-piece to tackle climate change
“The world’s urban areas have a tremendous opportunity to contribute to solutions, and a unique capacity to implement change that would affect the large majority of the world’s population.” - Benoit Lefevre, Senior Associate for Transport and Climate, EMBARQ
While only occupying 2% of the Earth’s land area, cities are the locus of 70% of the world’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, and growing. “The world’s urban areas have a tremendous opportunity to contribute to solutions, and a unique capacity to implement change that would affect the large majority of the world’s population” observes Benoit Lefevre, Senior Associate for Transport and Climate at EMBARQ, and lead for the transport and climate initiative at the World Resources Institute (WRI). As cities continue to grow in population, the transportation sector is contributing to an ever-increasing share of carbon emissions in urban areas, and is now the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, transportation is not always part of the discussion on climate change.
EMBARQ recognizes that urban low-carbon transportation is key to solving the puzzle of climate change, and is leading the charge on collaborative solutions to help solve the climate crisis.
Developing a three-pronged approach to help solve the climate crisis with urban transport
Conscious of the impact of transport on climate change, and of the high potential for sustainable urban transport to solve the climate change crisis, EMBARQ is working at the intersection of climate change and transport innovation to make a positive impact on greenhouse gas reductions. EMBARQ is leading the international Low Emissions Development Global Partnership (LEDS-GP) workstream on transport, a collaborative effort of over a hundred prestigious international partners.
At the LEDS Global Partnership annual conference in Thailand this past February, Benoit Lefevre outlined a process called Avoid-Shift-Improve, whereby cities and urban planners focus on a three-pronged approach. The strategy involves avoiding or reducing the need for travel; shifting to more efficient transportation modes; and improving fuel and vehicle technologies.
Fostering international collaboration around regional and topical workstreams
Founded in early-2011 LEDS-GP brings together over one-hundred government and international institutions to advance low-emission development through coordination, information exchange, and cooperation around the world. LEDS-GP has established regional platforms with countries and institutions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, as well as topical workstreams to support activities and defined priorities. EMBARQ is leading the transport workstream, in collaboration with the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
To support the three-pronged approach - Avoid-Shift-Improve, the transport workstream within LEDS is developing innovative tools to provide capacity-building around the world. The workstream also provides technical assistance and training on transportation strategies that support low-emissions development, concentrating its efforts in key focus areas — planning, analysis & tools, and finance. Through the LEDS-GP, EMBARQ envisions meaningful change at the local, national, and regional levels as a product of peer-to-peer learning, training, and information exchange.
To learn more about the program, please contact LEDS Transport Workstream lead, Benoit Lefevre, at firstname.lastname@example.org.