Mobility 2030—final report from the WBCSD’s Sustainable Mobility Project
In April 2000 12 leading automotive and energy companies, including JAMA members Toyota, Honda and Nissan, launched the Sustainable Mobility Project under the auspice of the World Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Since then they have been working together to assess how global mobility patterns might evolve up to 2030 and beyond. The objective was to gain a better understanding of how to improve the needs of society to move freely, gain access, communicate, trade and establish relationships without sacrificing other essential human or ecological requirements. Ultimately they aimed to assess the strategies that exist to influence the evolution in transport requirements in ways that might make transport more sustainable as well assessing what is required to enable these strategies to succeed.
After four years of work, the group have recently release their final report: Mobility 2030 meeting the challenges to sustainability. The report makes clear that no single solution exists and that finding solutions will require input from a broad coalition of governments, industry, non-governmental organizations and society at large working together for a sustained period of time. It also identifies the need for a major step change in vehicle and fuel technologies.
Mobility 2030 proposes seven goals which, if achieved, would enable a transition towards sustainable mobility:
- Ensure that the emissions of transport-related conventional pollutants do not constitute a significant public health concern anywhere in the world. According to the report, the vehicle technologies needed to control such emissions are being developed, as are the fuel required to enable the reliable use of the technologies. It also highlights that another significant driver will be the adoption of effective vehicle emission control technologies applicable to two and three-wheeled vehicles in the developing world.
- Limit transport-related greenhouse gas emissions to sustainable levels: As no single approach will enable to achieve this inexpensively and quickly, the report highlights that it will be a ‘huge task’ for industry, requiring the production of vehicles with advanced propulsion technologies, the production and distribution of fuels to power such vehicles through a suitable infrastructure and the commitment of individuals and governments across the world to replace the existing car parc. Technologies that are mentioned include dieselisation, hybridisation, fuel cells and carbon-neutral hydrogen.
- Significantly reduce the total number of road vehicle-related deaths and serious injuries from current levels in both the developed and the developing world. This can be achieved by changes in driver behaviours through education and law enforcement, improvement in infrastructure and improvement in crash avoidance technologies.
- Reduce transport-related noise. The report highlights that noise is location-specific and often vehicle-specific. In urban areas its impact can be (has been) limited by the installation of noise barriers (developed world). In other parts of the world, little is being done to offset the effect of increasing traffic volumes. Among other things, the report urges governments to make greater use of improved road surface materials that have the potential to lower noise.
- Mitigate congestion. This is an issue of growing concern in almost all urban areas across the globe. It is suggested in the report that more effective mitigation efforts can be made, and to this effect identifies three key actions: (i) increasing infrastructure capacity, (ii) eliminating infrastructure ‘choke points’, and (iii) making more efficient use of existing mobility systems and infrastructure through the implementation of telematics and through pricing strategies.
- Narrow the ‘mobility opportunity divides’ that inhibit the inhabitants of the poorest countries and members of economically and socially disadvantaged groups within nearly all countries from achieving better lives for themselves and their families. With a view to narrow the mobility divides that exist, the report urges governments to step up efforts to provide basic road access, lower the cost of transport and encourage the development and production of inexpensive vehicles suitable for use in harsh road conditions.
- Preserve and enhance mobility opportunities for the general population of both developed and developing-world countries. The report argues that the key to do so lies in using a variety of new mobility options, including the use of pricing strategies to broaden access, exploitation of the concepts of paratransit car-sharing and the development of new transport systems reducing our reliance of privately-owned vehicles.
The challenges and issues discussed in the report are not new to the companies participating to the study. In the report they evaluate how they can contribute to the achieving the seven goals through, for example, reducing transport-related emissions, improving road safety and continue their work on the development of carbon-neutral vehicles and fuels.
The work of the Sustainable Mobility Project is fully supported by JAMA (and in particular its participating members:
, Nissan and Honda). The project (Mobility 2030) was reported at the last Global Automotive Industry Meeting in
and was given full support. Road safety was highlighted to be of particular importance and issues such as pedestrian safety and side-impact testing identified as specific items for discussion under global technical regulations.