This event brought together representatives from the European Union (EU) and its EUROCLIMA+ initiative as well as Latin American countries to share progress, lessons, and challenges in promoting sustainable urban mobility in Latin America and the Caribbean. Guillermo Dascal, EUROCLIMA+, moderated the event.
Ismo Ulvila, European Commission (EC), underscored that, in addition to infrastructure, finance, technical and regulatory expertise are also needed to promote sustainable urban mobility. He suggested that the EU’s experience working in long-term, multi-stakeholder processes to develop mobility strategies would be useful to share with partners in Latin America. Horst Pilger, EC, noted the long history of EUROCLIMA+ and said that urban mobility should be prioritized in Latin America as it is a major and growing source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the region.
Niklas Hagelberg, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), explained that Latin America is ripe for developing electric mobility due to the large share of renewable energy in national energy grids and the advanced level of public transportation use. He previewed findings from an upcoming UNEP report on electric mobility in Latin America and the Caribbean, noting that the volume of electric vehicles in this region is still trivial. He added that electric utilities are starting to lead with pilot projects, highlighting the importance of incentives, and the region’s existing strengths in vehicle manufacturing and lithium reserves.
Paulina Potemski, MobiliseYourCity, emphasized the value of bringing all local stakeholders to the table for effective mobility planning. She also described MobiliseYourCity’s work in supporting developing countries as they elaborate sustainable urban mobility plans, and in building a Latin American community of interest in mobility planning.
In the discussion, Paola Visca, Uruguay, highlighted Uruguay’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions. She cited inter-ministerial collaboration and multi-stakeholder climate policy development process as key to Uruguay’s progress in promoting sustainable urban mobility. Carolina Urmeneta, Chile, noted that inter-ministerial collaboration was also important to Chile’s progress, along with domestic pressure to improve air quality. Andrea Meza Murillo, Costa Rica, highlighted the importance of effective infrastructure planning and building codes, noting that infrastructure decisions can lock in emission pathways for decades. Mark Major, Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport, introduced the Platform for Sustainable Urban Mobility for Latin America (PLATMUS), which aims to develop sustainable urban mobility projects and communities of practice in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Participants also discussed: the need to exponentially grow the pipeline of bankable projects to attract finance; the challenges of attracting and deploying new technology in small countries; and the need to involve local governments in developing and managing urban mobility solutions.