Reduce impact of travel and transports on climate change and improve people’s quality of life. These are the main goals of the European Mobility Week, running from today to September 22.
Now at its eighth consecutive edition, the campaign highlights local initiatives all over the EU. Focus is on alternatives to the car, for example cycling, walking or using public transport, or intelligent car use in the form of car-sharing or a car pool.
The transport sector and private car use together account for 40 per cent of Europe’s carbon dioxide emissions. Travelling by car also affects the climate in towns and cities by creating air and noise pollution and causing accidents, queues and congestion.
Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas thinks it is important to reduce private car use in the EU.
“Private cars are major emitters of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. They also seriously affect the quality of urban life. It is therefore important for public authorities and citizens throughout the European Union to adopt more sustainable modes of transport.”
The theme of this year’s Mobility Week, ‘Improving City Climates’, has been chosen in view of the upcoming climate conference in Copenhagen in December 2009, where it is hoped that world leaders will agree on a new international climate change agreement. European Mobility Week shows that citizens and authorities have a key role to play in the local work to combat climate change, for example by changing the way we travel.
European Mobility Week was launched in 2002 by the then Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström. It has its origins in the French campaign ‘In town without my car’. Last year 2 102 towns and cities participated in European Mobility Week under the slogan ‘Clean Air for All’