On 10 June 2020, our Chair Ellie Harrison was invited to speak on the Transport panel at Friends of the Earth’s online event discussing Scotland’s Response to the Climate Emergency.
The session highlighted the fact that Transport is now the biggest contributor to carbon emissions and air pollution of all sectors of Scotland’s economy, and the only one which has increased its emissions since the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.
It featured presentations from Gavin Thomson from Friends of the Earth Scotland, Andrew Adam from Sustrans Scotland and Ellie Harrison from Get Glasgow Moving, followed by questions and discussion with the audience, which included members of the Scottish Government’s Just Transition Commission.
Ellie Harrison presented recent research from Transport for Quality of Life, which shows that in order to meet the 1.5°C target (set in the Paris Agreement), car mileage will have to be cut by as much as 60% by 2035. Their 2019 report A Radical Transport Response to the Climate Emergency shows how this can be achieved, by providing:
- Universal and comprehensive public transport
- Universal and comprehensive active travel infrastructure
- That is all free to use on a local level
- Paid for with a new Eco Levy on driving which charges drivers per mile
Free universal and comprehensive public transport would enable everyone to fully participate in society without need or aspiration to own a car. The only way to deliver this to the standards necessary, is by bringing all public transport back into public control (re-regulation, or ‘franchising’ as its known) and/or public ownership.