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Bicycles And Buses Will Be Future’s Dominant Modes Of Urban Mobility, Predict 346 Transport Experts

A significant new report supported by the World Economic Forum argues there must be a “transport transformation” if the planet is to benefit from the Paris Agreement’s decarbonization commitments.

The Transport for Under Two Degrees project published its Way Forward report on October 8 arguing that governments around the world should stop subsidizing motoring and must, instead, build cycleways and wider sidewalks to anticipate the likely future of “active transport” in cities.

Public transit use must also be boosted, urges the T4<2° project, which was commissioned by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, or Auswärtiges Amt, and produced by the Berlin-based think-tank Agora Verkehrswende and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, or GIZ, a federal consultancy service.

Way Forward—two years in the making—is based on existing studies and new qualitative interviews with international experts from the transport and energy sectors, including from companies, NGOs and national and local governments. A further 346 senior experts, from 56 countries, were quizzed with follow-up surveys.

“As the study underlines, decarbonization of the transport sector is crucial and, at the same time, possible, given our technical advances and the international governance structure,” stressed the report’s foreword, written by Hinrich Thölken, Director for Energy and Climate Policy at Auswärtiges Amt.

Coronavirus

The report—Transport for Under Two Degrees: the way forward—acknowledges that the massive drop in motoring during national lockdowns showed that change is possible: “Responses to COVID-19 have shown potential for systemic changes to the mobility sector.”

There is now an “opportunity to align governance structures in the mobility sector towards a more sustainable, resilient, efficient and inclusive system,” adds the report which highlights ten “key insights” that policymakers worldwide should consider to decarbonize their transport systems.

The insights are hardly novel—transport can only be decarbonized if married to a massive expansion of wind and solar power, for instance—but the predictions of how we will travel in cities and rural areas within 30 years will come as a shock to those who remain wedded to their cars.

The experts say that personal car use in the cities of the future won’t be sustainable, and policymakers will have to legislate to remove cars from the urban environment. If this occurs, the majority of the experts believe the full decarbonization of the transport sector is possible by mid-century.

However, forget clever fixes: the experts overwhelmingly agree that instead of tech solutions people must be forced to switch away from planet-damaging transport modes.

“There is no technological solution to a societal problem,” said Agora Verkehrswende director Christian Hochfeld

US Futures Rise As President Trump’s Medical Team Suggests Monday Return To White House

U.S. futures spiked on Sunday night as of President Donald Trump’s healthcare providers expressed optimism over his timely return to the White House.

What Happened: Dr. Brian Garibaldi, a member of Trump’s medical team, said the President could be discharged from the Walter Reed Medical Center, where he is undergoing treatment for COVID-19, as early as Monday, and be back in the White House, CNN reported.

Garibaldi’s comments came amid uncertainty over Trump’s health, with contradicting reports. The president’s physicians had revealed earlier in the day that he was being treated with dexamethasone, a powerful steroid reserved for extreme COVID-19 cases, CNBC reported.

Dr. Vin Gupta, a faculty member at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, told CNBC that the disclosure indicates the president may be suffering from pneumonia.

Trump’s physician Dr. Sean Conley said that Trump had suffered two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation, according to CNN.

“It was a determination of the team based on the timeline from the initial diagnosis that we initiate dexamethasone,” said Conley.

The president left the hospital briefly on Sunday — to be driven around in an SUV in order to greet his supporters, CBS News reported.

Why It Matters: Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, an infectious disease specialist at the Boston University School of Medicine, told CNBC that she would not discharge someone who was just put on steroids.

Conflicting accounts of the president’s treatment have emerged since Saturday as his doctors remain evasive on key health parameters including on whether he required supplemental oxygen.

Meanwhile, several members of the president’s inner circle at the Republican party have tested positive for COVID-19, including three senators.

Price Action: S&P 500 futures rose 0.77% to 3,365, while Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures gained 0.78% to 22,779. Nasdaq futures traded 1.06% higher at 11,352.50 at press time.

Photo courtesy: Michael Vadon via Wikimedia

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