Transport is responsible for almost a quarter of global CO2 emissions. This year, in order to demonstrate their solidarity, transport ministers, representatives of global transport organisations, automotive industry companies, transport service providers, etc. have gathered for the first time in history in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to discuss decarbonisation solutions.
One of the key moments of that day was the COP26 declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans signed at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, the United Kingdom.
According to Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Agnė Vaiciukevičiūtė, who is participating in the Climate Change Conference, involving the transport sector in a common climate change policy is essential and very welcome.
“This is a historical step for the transport sector in the context of climate change because transport ministries have never participated in the COP negotiations and meetings before. The declaration signed by governments, regions, transport associations, transport service providers and manufacturers represents a strong signal to the automotive industry to switch to clean production in order to systematically and quickly move towards greener and more environmentally friendly and accessible transport,” says the Deputy Minister.
She explains that such ambitious declaration has already been presented and approved by the Lithuanian Government, and the Ministry of Transport and Communications is already pursuing the objectives leading to the targets set in the declaration. COP presenters noted that it is not only important to switch to green vehicles, but also to develop green mobility – cycling and pedestrian infrastructure – and to promote the use of public transport.
“The world is looking for the most efficient solutions in order to globally switch to renewable energy. Sustainable transport is an important part of it. Lithuania is already undergoing a consistent transport transformation. We are actively implementing many sustainable mobility measures, e.g., we are expanding the electric vehicle charging infrastructure network – we plan to have 60 000 electric vehicle charging access points by 2030 in Lithuania. Electrification of rail transport is also being actively implemented. Our aim is to encourage people to choose alternative modes of transport, such as bicycles. In order to make their trips safe and convenient, significant focus is currently being placed on the new development plan of cycle paths in Lithuania, which will create a seamless cycle path network,” says Vaiciukevičiūtė.
The COP26 declaration was signed by the governments of 32 countries, including Austria, the United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Israel, the Netherlands, as well as the major car manufacturers, such as “Ford Motor Company”, “General Motors”, “Mercedes Benz”, “Volvo Cars” and many others.
The declaration says that governments, regions, cities, car manufacturers, businesses, investors and financing institutions commit for all new car and van sales to globally be zero-emission by 2040. The leading markets should implement this change no later than by 2035.
The representatives who have signed the declaration commit to make every effort to make zero-emission transport accessible and affordable in all regions. The declaration also expresses hope that such transformation could improve energy security and help to balance electricity networks during transition to clean energy. All parties agree to cooperate in order to overcome strategic, political and technical obstacles in accelerating the production of zero-emission transport to make the transition faster, easier and less expensive for everyone.