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AU canvasses policy to reduce car usage, boost green energy mass transit

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Amani Abou-Zeid


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Following impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on its economy, the African Union Commission (AUC) has canvassed policies to reduce private car usage and boost green energy mass transit system, insisting that such steps held the key to the continent’s green recovery post-COVID-19.

It stressed that to fully recover from the pandemic, economies of African states needed stable assets, including an energy system that would support low-carbon mass transit development.

Its Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, said although economies were still recovering from the disruptions of the pandemic, this was the best time to move towards a green economy.

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She said it was time the African continent shifted towards a more sustainable and emission-free transport system and industrial processes, as it would represent a path to building a greener and better future.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Innovation Week with the theme: “Renewable Solutions for Transport and Industry,” held virtually to support decarbonisation of the industry and transport sectors, Abou-Zeid said energy-related carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions in Africa constituted about two per cent of cumulative global emissions.

She maintained that to effectively tackle climate change, it would require complete decarbonisation of all sectors of the economy, particularly in the industry and transport sectors, using renewable energy as the most cost-effective, viable and attractive option.

She also stressed the need for African economies to embrace global clean energy transformation, saying the AUC had made a move for a comprehensive and integrated urban transport and mobility policy.

The policy would combine, among other things, measures aimed at reducing the use of private cars, increasing the use of renewable energies, and promoting a mass transportation system, run through the systematic deployment of ITS and ICT solutions.

Abou-Zeid stressed the need for investments in innovative solutions to provide access to energy, sustainable transport and urban mobility, especially in digitisation to boost post-COVID economic recovery.

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