Energy consumption in the European Union is rising and so its our dependency on fossil fuels. At the same time, the EU has signed the Kyoto Protocol committing it to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 by 8%, in comparison to 1990 levels.
Had transport sector emissions followed the same reduction trend as in society as a whole, the total EU 27 greenhouse gas emissions during the period 1990-2005 would have fallen by 14% instead of only 7,9%. Improving vehicle technology and fuel quality have not been enough. Indeed, to achieve emission reductions, measures and policy instruments must also address demand for transport in a serious way.
Since individual cars stand for 74% of passenger transports (2004), encouraging the use of more sustainable passenger transport modes is one way of tackling greenhouse gas emissions from transport.
In this framework, the purpose of the MOVE project has been to encourage European energy agencies and similar organisations to work with Mobility Management and to present sustainable alternatives that will lead to more energy efficient transport and to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The overall objective of the project was to encourage European energy agencies and communities to work on mobility issues and to offer alternatives to the use of fossil fuels, thus leading to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This main objective was achieved through:
- The provision of methods to help communities in their endeavour towards less energy intensive transport modes,
- Projects carried on a local level in order to offer best practicexamples and success stories encouraging more actors to work with mobility issues,
- Demonstrate possible reductions in greenhouse gas emissions due to individual projects,
- Propose a set of reasonably achievable targets,
- Demonstrate the resulting cost-benefit analysis and the positive health effects.
The purpose of this project was therefore to select tools, and establish methods and standards within the partnerships based on existing European initiatives: these links were used to achieve changes in attitudes and behaviour, leading to a change towards less energy intensive transport modes.
The MOVE project chose to adopt both an European and national focus, in order to achieve the transferability and dissemination potential of this project, i.e. attempting to gain better cost effectiveness in dissemination. The project's outputs - a Mobility Cluster, Internet site and regional mobility agencies - were therefore important tools in this project's success.
The first step for the partnership was to agree upon and implement a common platform that would make it easier to carry out Mobility Management actions on regional or local level and make it possible to profit from each other’s experiences. The common platform consisted of the following elements:
- Common training in Mobility Management through e-ATOMIUM (a shared knowledge tool for energy agencies),
- Commitment to the use of SUMO model (a tool for systematic planning, evaluation
- and management of projects in the field of travel and transports) for the evaluation of local projects,
- Creation of virtual Mobility Agencies to coordinate mobility activities with strategic partners,
- The implementation of Mobility Projects on a local level.
Tha rationale of this platform was the following: training and practice provide knowledge and skills. The SUMO model helps to understand what worked and what did not. This knowledge is communicated to the stakeholders and other key actors through Mobility Agencies. Based on this information new projects are initiated. They in turn provide with new skills and new knowledge, etc.
The purpose of the MOVE project was to encourage more European energy agencies and similar organisations to work within Mobility Management by providing them with relevant skills, tools and a platform.
The MOVE project fulfilled its primary goal, namely proposing and implimenting a common platform (the MOVE model) as a basis for mutual understanding and deployment of mobility projects. Furthermore, the model was evaluated.
- Established a Mobility Management Network in form of an Internet site in order to profit from the partners' and stakeholders' experiences and to act as a platform for dissemination of project results,
- Implemented projects on a local level to gain best practice experience,
- Devised General Methods applicable both on European and regional level,
- Evaluated the projects by using the SUMO model (System for Evaluation of Mobility projects).
The local projects implemented were related to mobility management and modal-switching inducement in 3 related fields:
- Travelling to and from work places,
- Travelling to and from school,
- Awareness raising.
The MOVE project resulted in three different sets of policy implications, those relating to specific energy-consumption reduction targeting, and those relating to project implementation.
1: In the first case, MOVE proposed that, seeing different transport modes require different types and amounts of energy, therefore different Mobility Management actions must target these various consumption levels and the results must be measured on them too. Moreover, if the targets set by the European Union are to be reached, it is important that these targets are split, not only on national, but even on regional/local level. Putting targets as well as collecting more profound transport related data should be an important future task for the regions because it is only in so doing that relevant targets can be set and systematic work undertaken to achieve them.
2: In the second case, MOVE observed that many key actors and stakeholders are involved in transport, and emphasized the importance of networks. Virtual mobility agencies have proven to be good platforms to organize this kind of cooperation, and MOVE recommends they be further deployed within energy agencies.
3: Lastly, MOVE stressed the importance of setting up a well defined target group, as changing attitudes and behaviour also means dealing with people: it is therefore very important to know what motivates people. When trying to influence peoples’ behaviour, one person can make a big difference and determine whether a project becomes a success or not, and this person can be somebody in the target group. When working with Mobility projects it is more important than ever to look for driven, influential and motivated people.