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Mobility is at a turning point

A guest article from Dr. Heike van Hoorn, Managing Director of the German Transport Forum (DVF)

Dr. Heike van Hoorn, Geschäftsführerin Deutsches Verkehrsforum e. V.
Dr. Heike van Hoorn, Managing Director of the German Transport Forum (DVF)

Sustainable urban mobility, digital networking and artificial intelligence are the focus at Hypermotion, and these topics are also important to us at the German Transport Forum (DVF), because we see ourselves as advocates for mobility. We all know that mobility is at a turning point. Mobility is being reconceived and remade. At the Hypermotion event, it is possible to see the most exciting developments in the field and catch a glimpse of what tomorrow's mobility might look like. Sustainability is a topic that raises its head in numerous discussion forums at Hypermotion. What roles do technology, society and the state need to play in order to reduce the burden of the transport sector on our climate?

Early on, the DVF drew attention to the fact that investments in the infrastructure of each mode of transport and in digital networks were the foundation for creating transport systems that are both climate-friendly and environmentally friendly. The Climate Protection Act and the Climate Action Programme enacted by the German government include concrete sums for the investments that will be required. A total of approx. 55 billion euros is to be provided for measures related to climate protection and transport, and funding for the Energy and Climate Fund is to be increased significantly for this purpose. Even so, the DVF continues to call for a fund that is genuinely separate from the federal budget, as this is the only way to create planning certainty regarding the sums that will actually be invested in climate protection.

With national emissions trading, the prices for petrol and diesel will be increased gradually in coming years, and the German government has agreed that this money should be returned to consumers and companies and used for climate protection. Government support for innovative drive systems, rail transport and local public transport is to be expanded. Even so, some questions remain. Achieving a 40 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 continues to be an extremely ambitious goal, and the transport sector has never before witnessed such a dramatic change under this much time pressure. The climate policy objectives have been set, and change has already begun in the transport sector, but the pace of these changes will have to be increased in future, because the EU’s Effort Sharing Regulation comes into force in 2021. Germany will then be forced to purchase emissions’ rights from other EU member countries.

It is clear that everyone is going to have to do their part. We need new technologies, new and digital infrastructures, and the courage to break new ground.

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