Citizens want action on climate change. We do not talk about it in the future tense any longer because urgent actions are needed in the transport sector – not only to mitigate but to adapt to the challenges we are facing already today. Do we need to reduce mobility as we know it now, or can we find ways to respond to the challenges?
Mitigating climate change is a responsibility for all of us, starting with individual behavior and ending with corporate strategies and public policies. Forward-looking climate change policy and moving from discourse to action requires us to find the right mix of tools for systems of systems.
Research and innovation play a vital role in finding the ways that underpin the future developments. Moreover, research in all fields needs to be connected to the solutions we are looking for in our daily lives. Whether for citizens, politicians or companies, the end game has the same name.
We need to take action urgently to define the viable means we can swiftly deploy to help us combat climate change. The actions we can take in the short and medium term have to be accelerated. The new kids on the block, cities, need to be empowered to find the right mix of tools to reduce the environmental impacts of transport.
Actions taken to mitigate climate change also open up new opportunities for business and societies – and we need to take advantage of these opportunities. Furthermore, focus on optimising land use and mobility demand will be crucial.
Climate change is bringing forth conditions we need to be ready to face. Resilience of the transport system must to be achieved. As it’s clear we are not there yet, what kind of guiding principles, incentives and policy measures, such as taxation, do we need to take and execute to ensure we will reach our goal? How can the research community guide us to achieve full-scale deployment of digitalised mobility solutions for cleaner and sustainable environment?
Forward-looking climate change policy requires ways to increase the use of alternative power sources in different transport modes as well as energy-efficient vehicles and vessels. Active modes of transport, which play a key role especially in the first/last mile solutions, need to be seen as part of the travel chain.
There are many factors pressuring us to deliver. The questions remain: How can transport research contribute to forward-looking climate policy in the transport sector? How can we commit ourselves to accelerating the transition needed? What do we expect research and innovation to bring to the table and when?