Europe must help fast growing economies meet tomorrows transport challenge
How should we engage tomorrow's economic power houses like China, India, Brazil and Indonesia to work towards cleaner transport?
The question was posed by the renowned Brussels based think tank Friends of Europe at a round table debate during Green Week from 31 May to 3 June.
Among the debaters was Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade from the European Environment Agency (EEA). She stressed the fact that European decision-makers, businesses and others working with fast growing economies should inspire and support developing countries not to make the same mistakes by setting and achieving high standards themselves.
Everywhere demand for cars is increasing - a direct link with their prestige status over bicycles and public transport. Here, Europe should lead by example, anticipating such a predictable increase in cars by offering properly developed solutions to meet people's mobility needs.
Urban planning procedures should also be properly integrated and designed to reduce the environmental problems coming from all the major sectors. There should also be a much greater effort to achieve interoperability in transport networks such as rail across Europe, to enable trains to use electricity for power instead of diesel. City authorities need to deal directly not only with people's transportation habits but also energy supply, land use, and housing preferences when planning for growth.
Only in these ways will the environmental problems arising from rapid economic growth be minimized, Jacqueline McGlade pointed out.