Amsterdam, Austin, Berlin, Jakarta and Liverpool commit to rid fossil fuels from city streets by 2030

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 24 September 2019

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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Amsterdam, Austin, Berlin, Jakarta and Liverpool have announced targets to make their cities healthier, greener and more prosperous.

The mayors of these cities have pledged to procure only zero-emission buses from 2025, and to ensure a major area of the city is zero emission by 2030.

Mobility of the future

34 cities worldwide are now committed to the C40 Green and Healthy Streets Declaration, bringing the total number of buses in all 34 cities to 121,490.

This is an increase of over 40,000 buses in just the last year. The total population benefiting from the introduction of new buses, in all 34 cities, is at least 165.5 million.

‘Berlin is in the midst of a spirited debate on what the mobility of the future will look like. The challenge here is to take into consideration the interests of everyone involved and to create excitement about new mobility solutions. Berlin was also the first city in Germany to adopt a Mobility Act. This legislation lays the foundation for climate-friendlier, safer, and more efficient transportation in our city.’

MICHAEL MÜLLER
Governing Mayor of Berlin

Transforming cities

By making this commitment, the five cities have declared their intention to transform a major area of the city into a place free from fossil fuel vehicles by creating and improving public spaces, urban parks and streets, developing public transport, bicycle infrastructure and adopting exclusively zero-emission buses.

These strategies are designed to combat air pollution, improve quality of life for all residents of the cities and take new actions to protect the climate.

If all C40 cities meet the commitments of the Green & Healthy Streets Declaration and encourage more people out of their cars, it could potentially prevent more than 45,000 premature deaths each year.

‘Jakarta faces significant air quality problems with vehicular pollution one of the leading causes of this. Our vision is to transform Jakarta away from a traffic dominated, congested and polluted city to a world leader in public and sustainable transport, where residents and visitors feel that using public transport is safe, sustainable and comfortable.’

ANIES BASWEDAN
Governor of Jakarta

Zero-carbon Liverpool

From next year, Liverpool City Region will be the first place in the North of England to trial hydrogen buses following a successful £6.4 million bid to the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles.

The project will potentially see up to 25 hydrogen–powered buses on the streets of the Liverpool City Region, emitting nothing but water from the exhaust pipe, and will contribute to the city region’s plans both to improve air quality and work towards a zero-carbon economy by 2040.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said that committing to the C40 Green and Healthy Streets Declaration is a key step towards an ambition to become a zero-carbon city by 2040.

‘Working with other mayors and leaders through UK100 and C40 we are determined to play our part in tackling climate change and air pollution’, he said. ‘As part of a £172m fund for Liverpool, we will see new jobs and investment, making our community cleaner, greener and healthier.’

Walking, cycling and sharing transport

Signatories to C40’s Green and Healthy Streets Declaration ‘envision a future where walking, cycling and shared transport are how the majority of citizens move around our cities.’

The cities who join pledge to increase rates of walking, cycling and the use of public and shared transport. They also commit to reducing the number of polluting vehicles on city streets, and pledge to lead by example by procuring zero-emission vehicles for city fleets.

Cities will report back every two years on the progress they are making towards the goals of the C40 Declaration.

‘As transport is an area where the city can control emissions sources, it makes sense to focus on this. Amsterdam is undergoing a vast growth in population and in visitors between now and 2025, which presents challenges. However, Amsterdam has always been a city which embraces change: social change, cultural change and technological change. It will need a combination of all three to make the city’s vision for emission free mobility a reality. We will need a cultural and social shift so that citizens are aware of the impact of their transport choices.’

FEMKE HALSEMA
Mayor of Amsterdam

C40 World Mayors Summit

The announcement comes ahead of the C40 World Mayors Summit, where more than 50 mayors will gather next month to showcase innovative climate solutions pioneered by the world’s largest and most influential cities.

‘As the center of a metro area that grows by more than one hundred people per day, Austin is committed to making the goals of the C40 Green and Healthy Street Declaration part of our strategic transportation planning. The city’s growth creates an urgent need for better mass transit options and makes now the right time to plan for transit solutions that use energy resources wisely and pollute less.’

STEVE ADLER
Mayor of Austin

Led by Lord Mayor Frank Jensen of Copenhagen and C40 Chair and Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, speakers include climate leaders Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles.

The Summit will bring together elected officials, business executives, youth leaders, and citizens to commit to more ambitious climate action and accelerate the global movement for healthier communities.

Click here to read our article about the innovative finance model that’s electrifying taxis in Cambridge.

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