The Record - Issue 21: Summer 2021

98 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om T ransportation systems are transforming rapidly. Vehicle electrification, digitalisa- tion, policy changes, and new customer preferences are driving this transformation. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), decarbonising the transportation sector in line with the Paris Agreement goals will require annual investments of nearly $1.1 trillion in 2050, up from $150 billion in 2020. Businesses of all stripes and colours can capi- talise on this market opportunity while contrib- uting to create a more sustainable world. Fleet decarbonisation, facilitating data sharing and creating sustainable commuting policies are impactful levers in this transition. Mobility provides access to employment, education, healthcare and leisure, and is a key indicator of economic vitality and human well-being. Lack of mobility during the Covid- 19 pandemic has contributed to a sharp eco- nomic slowdown, and many mobility service providers, including public transit authorities, have seen revenues decline. Despite the dip over the last year, demand will rebound; most acutely in urban regions. Nearly 2.5 billion additional people will live in urban areas by 2050. Consequently, passenger mobility demand is expected to increase by almost 163 per cent between 2015 and 2050 and 250 per cent for freight transportation. The challenge ahead will be to absorb this growth while minimising its adverse impacts. Urban sprawl, personal car ownership, unrelia- ble and sparse public transit coverage, and lack of alternative mobility options exacerbate these challenges. Transportation contributes nearly 24 per cent to global carbon dioxide emissions, with 75 per cent coming from road transportation. Particulate emissions from road transportation are a major cause of urban air pollution, contrib- uting to 4.2 million excess deaths per year, a sig- nificant majority of whom are pedestrians and cyclists. Congestion on US roads alone contrib- utes to upwards of $160 billion in losses annually. Finally, transportation systems in many parts of the world are inequitable and inaccessible, neg- atively affecting women, the elderly and people from marginalised communities. We must redesign our transportation systems to be clean, safe, accessible and efficient. Significantly, urban transportation needs to meet Paris Agreement goals. Recently, the IEA proposed that no new internal combustion engine (ICE) cars be sold after 2035, if we are to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Sales of zero-carbon heavy trucks for freight must reach 50 per cent by 2035. However, switching to zero-carbon vehicles alone is not enough to meet decarbonisation targets. We must think holistically to decar- bonise the entire transportation value chain and redesign urban spaces that can enable this transition. Businesses will play a major role in driving this change. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is working with Microsoft and other companies to harness technological and business model disruptions, “We must think holistically to decarbonise the entire transportation value chain” Businesses can capitalise on the market opportunity offered by decarbonisation while contributing to create a more sustainable world AMAN CH I T KARA : WOR L D BU S I NE S S COUNC I L FOR S U S TA I NAB L E DE V E LOPMENT Mobility transformation V I EWPO I NT