PERAK, Malaysia, 30 September 2017 – Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) in collaboration with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Malaysia) organised the “Ecomobility – Towards Sustainable Lifestyles” seminar at their campus.
The seminar is part of WWF’s One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) initiative, created to mobilise action and support from cities in the global transition towards a climate friendly future. The seminar was aimed to engage cities and key stakeholders to cooperate in accelerating their commitments and actions towards sustainable mobility. WWF Malaysia focused primarily on the strategies of reducing carbon intensive travel activities e.g. by increasing vehicle occupancy, reducing unnecessary travels, and promoting bicycle travel, car-pooling, and walking.
TCC was also invited to share their transport and climate change experiences in Malaysia. Based on the results from the “Malaysia Stocktaking Report on Sustainable Transport and Climate Change“, Dr. Horizon Walker Gitano-Briggs presented on “The Reality of Sustainable Transportation”. He explained transportation efficiency, gaps in “real” transport data, estimated Malaysia road transport GHG emissions, and suggestions to improve the transportation sustainability at the ASEAN level. He also presented on two-wheelers; the vehicle type not prioritised for ecomobility or GHG emissions reduction.
The topics discussed by Dr. Horizon and other presenters during the interactive presentation sessions provided many insights to ecomobility and urban sustainability. There should be an emphasis in the need for first-last mile connectivity to mass transport systems and pedestrian friendly urban design. It was also pointed out that even though social pressures and individual conscientiousness are important, it is not sufficient to push society towards sustainable and ecological practices. The panellists suggested good governance to encourage the population to make efficient choices. This can be done by ensuring that ecological transportation options (e.g. buses, trains) are available, convenient, and reasonably priced, and that inefficient options are proportionally more expensive (e.g. individual car ownership).
A balance must be achieved where ordinary citizens have the option of clean, efficient transport, and can choose that over the inefficient options.