COP26 is our time to act on the e-transition

Michael Colijn explores why the summit is the opportunity to leave the world a better place for future generations

Amidst leaked outcomes, bleak expectations, and a world weary of battling COVID-19, COP26 may not be situated at the ideal time. But there is no better time than now to reiterate our commitment, especially at the level of global leadership, towards actionable climate goals. The UK has pledged £620m (US$848m) to support vehicle grants and charging infrastructure. With promises of an ambitious zero emission vehicle mandate, expectations for the host nation towards commitments and a hosting experience are high.

2021 is currently projected to clock the second-biggest emission rise ever recorded. Global emissions are expected to increase by 16% by 2030 compared with 2010 levels. We’re racing ahead but in the wrong direction. Currently, to achieve the intended goals, we require a 45% reduction in current emission levels, but apart from the brief plunge created by global lockdowns last year, we’re not heading in that direction.

COP26 electric buses
Electric transport will be a key part of the COP26 experience

Here’s how we could stop and re-align.

The pressure to meet the initially set targets would be on e-mobility. Charging specialist Heliox and First Bus are supporting the event’s official electric transportation and will be moving thousands of people across the city of Glasgow to the event and around the city, as part of efforts to reduce carbon emissions from public transport. However, as over 25,000 people will be flying and driving to Scotland to join the summit, it is important that we do all we can to balance the emissions created. With this in mind, the event will be a crucial moment for the industry, and serves as an opportunity to set ambitious targets for the future of mobility.

To achieve the intended goals, we require a 45% reduction in current emission levels, but apart from the brief plunge created by global lockdowns last year, we’re not heading in that direction

Then there are electrification policies, an area in which I am hopeful of seeing further advances, with infrastructure commissioned to support the continuing demand for EVs. This is the perfect time to build confidence for business owners who are looking to electrify their fleets. With goals such as no diesel buses by 2030, the uptake of e-buses is predicted to grow ten times in the next decade. Rapid-charging infrastructure has to be implemented ahead of time to ensure a seamless transition to an emissions-free fleet.

As climate goals loom large, and questions regarding a transition grow, the Summit and surrounding events become the perfect opportunity to start an e-transition conversation.


The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Automotive World Ltd.

Michael Colijn is Chief Executive of EV charging solution specialist Heliox

The Automotive World Comment column is open to automotive industry decision makers and influencers. If you would like to contribute a Comment article, please contact editorial@automotiveworld.com

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