Transport: Solutions for the future are in the past

I remember when I was a kid the times I found myself thinking about the future vehicles. Inspired by The Jacksons and the movie Back to the Future I’ve found myself driving in the 21st century in flying cars and mega fast (and with the doors opening up!).

By Evelyn Araripe

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But on the afternoon of Thursday, November 14th, in Warsaw, during the UN Conference on Climate Change – COP19, I discovered that my vision of the future of transportation in childhood was totally wrong. Experts in urban mobility from various parts of the world met with negotiators from 193 countries who trade in Warsaw a global climate agreement, to show solutions for the agenda of urban mobility from 2020 – the year that begins enforce the new agreement global. And to my surprise (or not), the transports of the future do not fly nor open the doors up. Incidentally, are much simpler than that and are already in our life longer time than the cars.

They are called Bicycle and Bus Rapid Transit – BRT (which at the time of my grandparents was called tram). Yes, simple vehicles, practical and clean, the bicycle and BRT are causesamong great solutions to reduce emissions from transport, which now account for almost 10% of emissions of greenhouse gases on the planet, that causes extreme weather effects that result in major environmental disasters. The experts pointed out that if we continue investing in the same transport model we practice today, the trend is the emissions from this sector soar by 80% by 2030. One of the major gaps for countries to create options for cleaner and more efficient transport is in the money. Experts estimate that’s necessary $ 1.3 trillion investment in infrastructure for transportation in developing countries to have better public transportation options, better roads and better systems for the use of bicycles and better sidewalks.

On the other hand, despite the daunting amount, Cornie Huizenga, the SLoCaT was very practical to tell to negotiators that “many of the solutions do not need more money to be put into practice, just use the same money which is now invested in models of transport less efficient”.
In other words, if today our cities prioritize investment in private vehicles – as is the case in Brazil – just change the look and focus of investments, efforts and political will.
*The Brazilian Youth Delegation at COP19 is composed by the following organizations: Aliança Mundial das ACMs, Engajamundo, Federação Luterana Mundial and Viração Educomunicação.

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