In Tackling Climate Change, Two Wheels is Better than Four
Last month's IPCC report sent alarm bells around the world, putting in stark terms the urgency of the climate crisis we face. The unvarnished implications laid out by the report underscore the moral imperative to act in drastically reducing carbon emissions. This week, the UN General Assembly met for the first time since the report, coinciding with Climate Week in New York City, which began in 2009 by climate advocates to draw attention to the crisis.
Transportation continues to be one of the leading contributors to this mounting crisis, with more emissions stemming from transportation than any other sector. Fortunately, we have solutions - we just need to accelerate them. The moment demands wide scale disruption of our norms--particularly driving. The urgency of the climate crisis requires cities to evolve from car-first transportation systems to a green transportation future, powered by fast, efficient public transit and lightweight electric vehicles. Continuing to rely on cars as a primary means of transportation will keep us on a collision course for continued harm to our planet.
As a result of the pandemic, we’ve seen micromobility quickly go from an afterthought for cities, to being designated an essential service. The value the proliferation of this new mode provides to urban communities--reduced congestion, safer streets, affordable mobility, cleaner air--is clear, and users are quickly adopting it because of the convenience and accessibility it affords. It also provides for transportation redundancy, a key resiliency measure for cities. For example, when New York’s subway system shut down due to severe flooding caused by Hurricane Ida, the following day residents sought out alternative transportation, resulting in Lime's highest single-day ridership in NYC to date. That served as a real-world demonstration of our mission: to build a future for urban transportation that is shared, affordable and carbon-free.
Solving the urban mobility challenge is a core part of tackling climate change and thankfully we're making progress, but we need a much more rapid transformation if we're to achieve the goals set out by the Paris Climate Accords of keeping global temperatures below a two degree-rise from pre-industrial levels. There are already clear solutions, which should be approached collaboratively by public and private sector leaders in the space. Andrew Savage, our VP of Sustainability, spoke about these efforts during Climate Week NYC, addressing how companies like Lime can contribute to a full-scale decarbonization of transportation. He also participated in a panel at Benzinga’s EVConference, alongside executives from other mobility companies to discuss how vital micromobility solutions are a sustainable future as well as the automotive industry.
We know that transport doesn’t need to be one of the largest contributors to the global climate crisis. Cities increasingly recognize the value that more active mobility led by smaller vehicles, offer healthier more livable environments. Without a drastic change to the way we move in our cities, aligning quickly with the threat we face, our lives and the lives of future generations will be forever altered. There’s a clear opportunity to establish a new and better normal and the time to act is now.