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Move in the right direction

Mobility is an essential part of our daily life. However, running a car can be very costly, not only financially but also environmentally. For every litre of fuel burned in a car engine, more than 2kg of CO2 are released.

 
Discover the benefits of pedal power! (c) European Commission

Discover the benefits of pedal power!

Initiatives from all corners of the EU show how pioneering ideas and a hands-on, ‘can-do’ approach can help us reduce costs and bring us a step closer to low-carbon travel and transportation.

Public transport systems across Europe are embracing greener options for improved efficiency. Bus fleets running on alternative fuels have reduced local air and noise pollution while providing passengers with a better quality, more reliable service. And this has been achieved at the same time as reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that harm the climate.

By bridging the gap between car ownership and traditional rentals, car-sharing schemes can make more efficient use of idle vehicles, reducing pollution and congestion, as well as providing savings or income for subscribers.

And for those of us wanting to burn some calories, the broad spectrum of smart pedal-power options includes bikes with the stability of three wheels, a narrow frame, handy electric motor and heavy load capacity.

Car-sharing services enhance efficiency by putting idle vehicles to good use (c) European Commission

Car-sharing services enhance efficiency by putting idle vehicles to good use.

A few enterprising ideas

Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action
Sometimes being greener and smarter doesn't even cost anything up front. In the long run, it can even lead to big savings.
Commissioner Connie Hedegaard

Consider the following as you decide the most suitable means of transport for you:

  • A typical car is used only 4% of its lifetime, sitting idle for the remaining 96% of the time. Why not make more efficient use of it by car sharing? The increasing popularity of car sharing is relieving the burden on our roads by giving people the flexibility to drive only when they really need to – without having to buy a car.
  • A bus can carry up to 40 passengers while occupying the road space of only three cars. This lowers congestion and emissions and gives passengers a chance to relax, for instance by reading a book or listening to music.
  • Cycling helps to promote cardiovascular fitness, burn calories, strengthen heart rate and enhance concentration.

How you can help

In tandem with actions taken by local people, businesses and community groups, the EU has taken measures to help the transition to a more efficient and sustainable European transport system. This includes action to improve vehicle efficiency through new engines, materials and design, and pricing schemes to tackle congestion and air pollution. The goal is to reduce transport emissions by 60% of 1990 levels by 2050, while also improving air quality in our cities.

As demand drives our markets, the continued success of such innovative initiatives and the development of new transport concepts depends on the willingness of conscientious citizens and consumers to support them. So act now to build a sustainable future for us all!

What are your low-carbon ways of getting about? Share them on Facebook.

Europe is home to some of the most efficient public transport systems in the world. Make use of them! (c) European Commission

Europe is home to some of the most efficient public transport systems in the world. Try them out!