September usually means the return to school and work after the summer. Although working from home is still the rule for many, others will find the daily commute a regular feature of their lives once again. But before we let that familiar rhythm settle in, maybe it’s time to consider making a climate-friendly change to our routine?
In September and October, the Climate Pact is focusing on what we call ‘sustainable mobility’. This means using any form of transport with lower carbon emissions – from taking the train across the continent for your holiday to walking or biking to your local bakery. So why is mobility so important when it comes to climate change? And how can you be part of our sustainable mobility movement?
A move in the right direction
Transport accounts for nearly a quarter of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions! Road transport is the biggest culprit, responsible for over 70% of transport’s total emissions – while aviation accounts for 14% only. Road transport is also the main cause of air pollution in cities. The 2020 edition of the car-free day in Brussels saw a 22-85% drop in concentrations of common air pollutants when compared to a normal Sunday!
How can we reduce our transport emissions? This summer, the Commission adopted proposals that will make it possible for the EU to become the first climate-neutral continent by mid-century, and transport is part of the equation:
- 55% of reduction of emissions from cars by 2030
- 50% of reduction of emissions from vans by 2030
- 0 emissions from new cars and vans by 2035.
So you can buy a climate-neutral car in 2035. But what can you do today?
Commit to a pledge
If you are ready to make a change to your transport habits, why not make it official by pledging with the Climate Pact?
- You could walk and cycle more to keep fit and feel more alert at school or work.
- You could fly less and take advantage of Europe’s increasingly interconnected rail network.
- Or you could drive an electric vehicle to help reduce road transport emissions.
Pledging is simple and only takes a couple of minutes. And once you’ve pledged, don’t forget to encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do the same. The more people act, the bigger impact we can have! Learn more about pledging.
Make your move for the climate
Once you’ve made your mobility pledge, be sure to let others know – so take to Instagram to capture yourself moving in a ‘green way’. From trains with 20 wheels to unicycles with just one – we want to see how you get around. Taking part is easy – here’s what you need to do:
- Film yourself moving around or travelling in a climate-friendly way – whether that be on the train, on a bike, on a skateboard, or any other way you can think of! This is your chance to get creative with your movement.
- Make a pledge to move in a more sustainable way and add the pledge in a caption on the video.
- Tag our Instagram account @ourplanet_eu and add the hashtag #ClimatePactMovement.
- Share the clip on your Instagram account to show off your green credentials and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
That’s it! We’ll be on the lookout for creative and interesting videos to feature in our compilation. So, get thinking and you could be featured as part of the longest sustainable movement!
Mobility action across Europe
It’s not just the Climate Pact that is putting mobility at the top of the agenda in September – many other events also focus on the topic:
- With the European Mobility Week starting on 16 September, we want to raise people’s awareness of the massive contribution transport makes to carbon emissions, while also offering practical solutions for change. Follow the hashtag #MobilityWeek on Twitter.
- The Connecting Europe Express – a high speed train crisscrossing 26 European countries – started its 20,000 kilometer-long voyage on 7 September. It took to the rails in Lisbon, has already wound its way through Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria – and it still has a long way to go before it reaches its destination in Paris on 7 October. You can follow its journey (and its speed!) live via European Navigation Satellite Services EGNOS and Galileo.
- Remember that 2021 is also the European Year of Rail – the perfect moment to plan your next train journey and discover Europe on two rails!
Let’s show our friends, families and people across Europe that we are ready to change the way we move!
- Publication date
- 16 September 2021