What’s wrong with this statement from the NYT this morning?
“President Biden will announce Thursday that the United States intends to cut planet-warming emissions nearly in half by the end of the decade, a target that would require Americans to transform the way they drive, heat their homes and manufacture goods.”
On so many levels, this target is cause for celebration! Jubilant celebration!
But there is a “but.” Transforming “the way they drive” must be not just about driving, but about changing how we think about mobility. We get around in many different ways! They include driving, and much more that is needed to make our communities healthy places where people thrive.
Cutting emissions by 50% by 2030 cannot be done without dramatically changing the transportation system that is the source of nearly a third of emissions in the U.S. It cannot be done alone by electrifying everything. We must use the full set of mobility options—the walking, biking, carsharing, and transit that make up active and shared transportation.
The coming infrastructure package is an unparalleled opportunity to decarbonize the transportation system. It is also an opportunity to make our society more equitable and to mitigate, if not correct, the harms of structural racism. We need to open the door to the right investments, to infrastructure that helps people to make sustainable and equitable choices. The infrastructure package could help shift the system’s bias away from private car ownership, a bias that imposes the burden of car ownership on households that can least afford it.
Our work is cut out for us.
But we have allies, and we have a goal—an intermediate one, to be sure, but a true rallying cry to make the changes needed in our infrastructure to put people at the center of our communities.
The 2021 National Shared Mobility Summit, entitled The Big Shift: Building the Infrastructures of Shared Mobility, is a platform where the rallying cry will be heard near and far as participants discuss how to transform to a more sustainable and equitable mobility system.
We look forward to fighting harder than ever – with our allies – and winning this battle for a world of cleaner air and streets that are welcoming to people on bikes, people on foot, and people on transit.