Since 2008, the second biggest Danish city aims to become CO2-neutral and a fossil-free city by 2030. Electrification of public transports is one of the main challenges.
By: Marta de Assis
The Climate Action Plan 2021-2024 and the Climate Strategy 2030 are the main guidelines to help Aarhus´ green transition. Energy, Transport, Buildings, Industry, Local Commitment and Growth are the focus areas of these plans.
Transports still have a great impact on the environment and are the main responsibles of CO2 emissions and global warming. For that reason, Aarhus Municipality wants to invest in electric public transports. Bünyamin Simsek, the Councilor for Technology and Environment in Aarhus Municipality, stated in an interview for the Aarhus Kommune websit that “we need to focus on our transport sector, as it accounts for the largest share of emissions. At the same time, the city must be made ready to run on fossil-free energy sources and last but not least, we must work to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and, for example, convert it into green fuels.“
For Anders Winnerskjold, member of the Aarhus City Council and the Chairman of the Sustainability Committee, the citzens of Aarhus play a big role in the green transition and they need to “bike even more, take public transportation and reduce the number of kilometers traveled by car”. But how can citzens be more aware of this green transition? The Chairman of the Sustainability Committee thinks that “information is key, but also making the green choice more attractive: cheaper, better for you and easier to take the green choice”.
Currently the city of Aarhus only has four electric buses and they have been in service since august 2019. The public-transport company Busselskabet Aarhus Sporveje bought 29 electric buses and they will arrive in early spring 2021. By the year 2030, the company expects that all buses (approx. 180 buses) must be zero emission.
Replacing diesel buses with electric buses will have a direct and positive impact on the environment, such as a reduction of air pollution and less noise.
This year, the biggest danish cities signed a Climate Cooperation Agreement which stipulates that, from 2021, these cities can only buy electric buses. All new buses for public transports in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, Aalborg, Vejle and Frederiksberg must be emission-free.
But how close is Aarhus to become CO2 neutral by 2030? “The last part of the journey requires that we all provide the best we can. If we do it smart, we are not only helping to solve the climate crisis, but also helping to kick-start the business community, because with the green transition also comes a large number of investments” as stated by Bünyamin Simsek on the Aarhus Kommune website.