By Shashwati Shankar, Project Manager & Content Advisor at Autonomy

This article contains a summary of the report ‘Getting to Net Zero: The Way Forward for the Mobility Ecosystem’, which is a collaboration between Autonomy & Capgemini Invent. Click here to download the full report.

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The latest research has never been clearer: to avoid a catastrophic climate crisis, current levels of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will need to be cut in half by 2030 and reach net-zero by mid-century. Across sectors, the mobility sector is one of the most emission intensive sectors, accounting for 20% emissions worldwide. A key target of the mobility sector’s strategy is to reach net zero emissions by 2050. More recently, the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis provided a picture of what the world could look like as a result of temporary emission reductions from the transport and mobility sectors. The resulting effects led to biodiverse ecosystems thriving. The promising effects of emission reduction upon nature only further boosts the need to decarbonize the majority of transport modes, particularly as they relate to the mobility of people.

Decarbonizing the Mobility Sector 

Decarbonization in the mobility sector can only be achieved if there is a strong focus on value chain emissions. These emissions are often representative of the majority of an organisation’s total carbon footprint. Despite the challenge in doing so, decarbonizing the value chain presents a huge untapped opportunity for climate action by enabling companies who have a relatively small direct emission footprint to have a significant impact on a global scale. To address this, the mobility ecosystem must work together with two key stakeholders in decarbonizing the sector: public and energy actors.

However, presently the mobility sector still depends heavily on fossil fuels. In order to accelerate the move towards sustainable mobility and achieve a net zero transition, a major shift in investment and business models is required, as well as a legal framework for sustainable mobility that is supported by a conducive policy environment.

The SIMEC Net Zero Framework

So what exactly can drive net zero? In this report, we have proposed the SIMEC Net Zero

Framework, which focuses on shared mobility solutions, intelligent technology, multimodal

mobility, eco-powered and circular economy systems. In order to reach net zero, each actor in the ecosystem needs to make a transition: 

(i) Consumers need to be incentivized in changing their mobility behaviour through eco-friendly initiatives. 

(ii) Mobility providers and operators are responsible for fostering green innovation and services. 

(iii) Corporates can play a significant role in accelerating the adoption of low carbon alternatives through their employees’ mobility habits and patterns. 

(iv) Governments and local public authorities must take a systemic approach to accelerate the progress towards net zero emissions, for instance by allocating a dedicated part of the budget to finance climate change and sustainable mobility projects.

Analytical Findings 

In an analysis of the mobility of people’s current state of play and predictive changes, this paper assesses the current and future role of mobility to contribute to a net zero future. We have conducted a survey with 45+ companies and government authorities to understand their challenges and expectations on the Net Zero Mobility Emission Road:

  • over 75% of the respondents had put initiatives in place, with the majority of the initiatives being shared mobility oriented;
  • legal, investment and collective and systemic prerequisites are needed to implement a net zero transition across the mobility sector;
  • a lack of ecosystem cooperation and budgetary constraints represent the greatest obstacles preventing the implementation of more green projects within their organisations.

Despite the mobility sector being one of the slowest sectors to decarbonize, there are some promising initiatives and strong shifts in behaviour from the mobility ecosystem that are increasingly more noticeable. The future of the mobility ecosystem will lie in mobility providers and operators increasingly fostering green innovation and services with the support of consumers, government regulation and corporations. 

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