COP21: a review of SOLUTIONS activity in Paris

The COP21 in Paris was a great success, resulting in a global agreement on climate change and aiming for a development pathway that limits warming to 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels. Representatives and partners of the SOLUTIONS project attended the event in the French capital to support the dialogue and provide delegates and officials with valuable insight and expertise into sustainable urban transport solutions that can help towards reaching this ambitious target.

On the morning of 3 December the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI), which was launched by UN-Habitat and SOLUTIONS, contributed to an event with the Lima Paris Action Agenda (LPAA). The event presented advances in the implementation of transport initiatives, with major announcements and commitments geared towards reducing of emissions from freight transport and long distance mobility; improving urban mobility while reducing emissions and congestion; and accelerating the deployment of very low and ultra-low emission vehicles. Representing UEMI on the panel was the CEO of China’s BYD Company Limited, Wang Chuanfu (pictured above, second from left). 

During COP21’s first weekend, SOLUTIONS hosted an event in the Climate Generations Area where Polis, WRI/EMBARQ, the Wuppertal Institute and Clean Air Asia – all SOLUTIONS partners - presented results from the SOLUTIONS project. WRI Brasil’s Magdala Arioli (pictured below, right) highlighted the example of Belo Horizonte, a Brazilian city that, through SOLUTIONS, has partnered with the city of Bremen, Germany. The resulting exchange of knowledge has enabled the state capital to prepare and incorporate some effective strategies for sustainable urban mobility. The University of California, Davis, a UEMI partner, explained how to integrate e-mobility into high-shift scenarios, Polis and Clean Air Asia provided examples of city actions in Europe and Asia and Vulcan, a UEMI partner, introduced an urban electric mobility project recently launched in the US.

At the ‘Pathways to sustainable mobility’ event - co-hosted by the FIA-Foundation, IPIECA, CAI Asia, the Wuppertal Institute and CTS Mexico/Embarq – panellists addressed how to improve transport energy efficiency, boost low-carbon transport solutions and generate co-benefits between climate, air quality and safety. On the Sunday several SOLUTIONS partners contributed to the Transport Day. On Tuesday 8 December there was another joint event with the UEMI and other e-mobility initiatives where delegates discussed the Paris Declaration on Electro-Mobility and Climate Change.

At a side event on Climate Action in Asia on Friday 11 December, chaired by the former prime minister of Korea, Duck-Soo Han, experts, including Oliver Lah from the Wuppertal Institute, discussed Asia’s contribution to climate change mitigation. The panel stressed the need for the implementation of low-carbon strategies across all sectors and also that there are a number of opportunities for social, environmental and economic synergies.

‘It was a very busy – and, thankfully, productive - few days in Paris,’ said SOLUTIONS project co-ordinator, Oliver Lah. ‘We’re pleased that we had the opportunity to present our expertise and the experiences gained during SOLUTIONS to the COP21, and have a real hand in contributing to the dialogue.’

‘It was clear from those attending our sessions that there is a determination among city officials to embark on sustainable urban mobility projects, and a recognition that exchanging knowledge with other cities that already have green transport initiatives in place is key.'