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380WBCSD report - Report Contributions

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  • eric.britton@ecoplan.org
    Aug 3, 2004
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      Tuesday, August 03, 2004, Paris, France, Europe

      Our reference: <http://newmobility.org/> http://newmobility.org, WBCSD
      Peer review

      Dear Friends,

      While there is certainly considerably more to say and more that we will
      be hearing from you over the next several weeks under the headings of
      (a) General Comments and (b) Targeting/Errors/Omissions for our WBCSD
      Peer Review, it will be useful to turn to the last two rubrics that we
      have here to develop our thoughts and comments: (c) WBCSD Report
      Contributions and (d) Recommendations/Next Steps. It is this last to
      which I hope we shall be giving the most thought and creative
      interaction of the sort that only a forum such as this can hope to
      provide. But before we get to that, I would now like to ask you if you
      spotted any strong ideas that appear in their report that they or
      someone else should be pursuing.

      In this regard, let me assure you that we now have the full attention of
      the report's sponsors, and while based on long past experience I would
      doubt that we will be hearing from them directly at this point, as we
      frame these important comments and recommendations let us bear in mind
      that our common objective is to turn them into a powerful instrument for
      sustainability in general and the drive to sustainable mobility more

      Before turning to the full report, I would like to list briefly a
      handful of point that I found to be potential value in their 29 page
      Overview Report. After many pages of hopping about with various
      unsurprising comments on their chosen scenarios, projections and "seven
      (who can argue) goals toward which we believe society should strive",
      the report on page 25 finally gets down to something we can maybe work
      with by way of, they call them, "opportunities"). Let me quote them in
      the order they appear:

      1. ". important opportunities for increased utilization of bus and
      bus-like: systems (including paratransit)."

      2. ". new information technologies into these bus-like systems"

      3. ". important potential for new patterns of vehicle ownership and
      use (such as carsharing) to become integral parts of the mobility system
      in many areas."

      4. "An alternative strategy is to adapt the technological and
      economic characteristics of the transport systems to fit the living
      choices of the public."

      5. "Moving toward sustainable mobility will involve paying as much
      attention to institutional frameworks as to (. the inherent potential of
      any vehicle technology or fuel or the theoretical 'effectiveness' of
      "'ineffectiveness' of any particular policy lever or action.)"

      6. ". we can support efforts to encourage new approaches to
      providing improved mobility opportunities in urbanized areas (i.e.,
      carsharing, paratransit, and new mobility systems."

      Hmm. If we are looking for areas in which they should now be
      concentrating some of their considerable resources in the sector hat
      does so nicely for them, I would like to suggest that they are giving us
      some encouraging signals here which we might now want to pursue.
      Moreover on the closing page, they invite "us" to do just this .

      "And in reviewing the conclusions of their work. the companies have
      looked at what could be done to accelerate progress on the goals beyond
      the extensive and diverse actions on which they are already engaged.
      There are clearly opportunities, but they must sensibly be the result of
      wider consultation both within the companies and with others. We
      therefore need to debate both internally and with a range of
      stakeholders to determine where and how to best focus our activity."

      Excellent. Let us consider this as a fine start. And now it is time
      for us to do as they have asked, and help them figure out what they
      should be putting resources and brainpower behind now to make real
      contributions in the troubling area of sustainable mobility. where the
      contributions are needed and possible in the months and years directly
      ahead, and not out there in 2030.

      Your reactions?

      Eric Britton

      PS. Gentlemen, we have a real fundamental problem which needs to be addressed and which certainly is influencing our level of understanding and lucidity in the analysis and recommendations. And that is we are grossly underrepresented in this assembly in terms of female colleagues. And while it is clearly not
      going to be possible for us to reverse this, may I say, stupid state of
      affairs in the weeks directly ahead, my bet is that if each of you put
      your mind and networks to it, we can at least start to do better in this
      important department, thanks to your recommendations. We males simply
      miss so much (or as one of my favorite authors so nicely put it: "blind
      by choice").
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