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  • Transcriber: TED Translators Admin Reviewer: Rhonda Jacobs

  • We have known for a long time that air pollution kills people.

  • We also know that a climate emergency is happening.

  • These are hardly motivating facts to start a conversation,

  • but I'm actually here to share good news.

  • For the first time in our lifetimes,

  • a big detox of transportation is possible,

  • despite the many problems we have,

  • or perhaps because of them.

  • The lockdowns of 2020 have been tough,

  • but they also give us a glimpse of life

  • without the usual noise, congestion and pollution,

  • confronting us with questions about the way we live.

  • The tailpipe is a symbol of our worst habits --

  • habits that we have normalized for too long:

  • the burning of 100 million barrels of oil every 24 hours

  • and the extraction behind that oil,

  • the fumes choking our cities,

  • the greenhouse gases going up in the atmosphere

  • and overheating our planet.

  • None of that is normal,

  • nor is air pollution,

  • which can shorten life expectancy by up to 10 years,

  • depending on where you live.

  • This is also a matter of environmental justice

  • because air pollution hurts everyone,

  • but it hurts the poor and minorities disproportionately.

  • The good news is that things are changing.

  • Take cities.

  • First, people around the world are demanding clean air

  • and cities are responding

  • by banning petrol and diesel cars,

  • mostly by 2030 and 2040;

  • over 30 cities and regions are already doing this.

  • Second, the city space is going through an overhaul.

  • Too much space was given to cars,

  • and cities are reversing this by blocking traffic from certain streets,

  • by giving the streets back to pedestrians,

  • by making the streets greener and safer,

  • especially for children.

  • And third, cities are also prioritizing active mobility,

  • such as biking and walking.

  • And the pandemic accelerated many of these decisions.

  • From Barcelona to Bogotá,

  • cities are opening spaces for bike lanes, for commuters.

  • Sales of bikes and e-bikes are booming in many places.

  • Paris is pioneering the 15-minute city

  • to put essentials within a walk or a bike ride,

  • all within 15 minutes.

  • I live in Amsterdam, where a profound transformation is underway.

  • Amsterdam already promotes biking, public transit, walking.

  • So you might be surprised to hear that even in Amsterdam

  • there is a problem with air pollution because of road transportation.

  • That is why the city of Amsterdam has a plan

  • to go emissions-free by 2030.

  • And the plan builds on the idea of an expanding zero-emission zone

  • going from the center outwards in three phases.

  • By 2022, all buses and coaches circulating in the city center must be emissions-free.

  • By 2025, the zone expands

  • and all public and commercial traffic must be emissions-free.

  • Public buses, coaches, taxis, vans,

  • small, medium and large trucks.

  • That also includes mopeds, ferries and boats.

  • By 2030, the zone expands further,

  • and by then all transportation must be emissions-free,

  • including personal cars and motorcycles.

  • No more tailpipes.

  • And that is just nine years away.

  • Living here and witnessing firsthand

  • how Amsterdam becomes a front-runner of electric mobility

  • is a powerful reminder

  • that the big societal imperative of halving carbon emissions

  • by 2030

  • goes beyond nudging people away from personal cars.

  • The systemic change we need

  • requires that all modes of transportation go emissions-free

  • powered by renewables,

  • and we have to achieve that while making sure

  • that our needs are met as citizens and as business.

  • And to do this, we need to electrify pretty much everything.

  • Cities cannot do this alone,

  • so we need national governments to play a fundamental role too.

  • The European Union, for example,

  • has CO2 emission standards for vehicle manufacturers,

  • and over a dozen of European countries have set up plans

  • to phase out petrol and diesel cars --

  • France by 2040,

  • the United Kingdom by 2035.

  • China and California have mandates

  • to accelerate the manufacturing of zero-emission models.

  • California just passed a rule

  • that requires that 50 percent of the sales of trucks in the state

  • are zero-emissions by 2035

  • and all of them must be zero-emission by 2045.

  • This is a game changer for the trucking industry.

  • Vehicle manufacturing is shifting towards electrification.

  • Look at some of the milestones,

  • which were unthinkable a few years back.

  • Volkswagen has converted a traditional plant

  • into one that will produce only electric vehicles.

  • Daimler is halting all the development of internal combustion engines.

  • And Tesla is more valuable today than ExxonMobil.

  • This year, public charging plugs hit the one million mark

  • around the world.

  • Fleet owners are shifting towards zero-emission models.

  • Amazon alone has ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans

  • and nearly 90 global companies have joined EV100,

  • an international initiative

  • to electrify fleets by 2030 starting now.

  • These are still small steps

  • compared to the scale of our oil addiction,

  • but they signal a new direction of travel.

  • What's really exciting

  • is that the technologies we need for this transformation are here today,

  • commercially available,

  • getting cheaper and getting better.

  • Look at batteries.

  • Their cost went down 90 percent in 10 years,

  • and there are new opportunities to repurpose these batteries

  • for energy storage

  • or to recycle them once they wear down.

  • The race to zero needs capital.

  • So we need more urgency and directionality

  • in the financial industry

  • because it is heavily invested in fossil fuels.

  • To reach scale and speed,

  • we will need clever combinations of finance and policy.

  • Look at what's going on with electric buses.

  • China has a fleet

  • of 420,000 electric buses

  • compared to 600 in the entire United States.

  • To put that into perspective,

  • Santiago de Chile alone has 455 electric buses, and growing,

  • thanks to an ingenious financial arrangement.

  • Africa now has its first manufacturing plant of electric buses.

  • And P4G, a global initiative,

  • is working with emerging economies

  • that want to scale up the electrification of buses.

  • Colombia is first in line,

  • designing a fund of 2.2 billion dollars

  • to electrify 6,000 buses over time.

  • There is, and there will be, resistance to change.

  • There is even an inability to imagine that change is possible.

  • In reality, change happens exponentially.

  • Look at what happened to solar energy.

  • Exponential change can bring turmoil

  • if the decline of old industries is not managed.

  • It can bring economic dislocation and job disruption.

  • So wouldn't it be wiser to prepare

  • and design just transitions now rather than later?

  • Here's the bottom line.

  • The end of internal combustion engine is within sight.

  • The question is no longer whether this will happen,

  • but when.

  • Ten years?

  • Twenty years?

  • It depends on us and the choices that we make this decade.

  • So now is the time to go bigger and faster

  • towards a future without a tailpipe,

  • a future where we can meet our transportation needs

  • and have people-friendly streets,

  • a future with a thriving economy and clean air,

  • a future we choose for the climate and for our health.

  • Thank you.

Transcriber: TED Translators Admin Reviewer: Rhonda Jacobs

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How cities are detoxing transportation | Monica Araya

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/27
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