The Netherlands has launched a plan that will ban all carbon-emitting delivery vehicles in urban areas. The country has started by allowing only zero-emission delivery vehicles in 14 cities so far and has authorized all cities in the country to come up with zero-emission zones and logistics plans. The full ban is expected to go into effect by 2025.
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The environment minister Stientje van Veldhoven said that the plan comes after a noticeable increase in online shopping deliveries. If the government hopes to reach its zero-emission road traffic target by 2050, it is important to cut these increasing delivery emissions.
“Now that we are spending more time at home, we are noticing the large number of delivery vans and lorries driving through cities,” the environment minister said. “The agreements we are setting down will ensure that it will be a matter of course that within a few years, supermarket shelves will be stocked, waste will be collected, and packages will arrive on time, yet without any exhaust fumes and CO2 emissions.”
Research done by the World Economic Forum in 2020 projected that e-commerce would lead to a 36% rise in delivery vehicles in the world’s 100 largest cities by 2030. According to the report, if all these vehicles were to be on the roads, they would increase emissions by 32%. However, the report also indicates that switching to electric vehicles would cut emissions by 30%.
The Netherlands is encouraging the transport sector to go carbon-free by offering $5,900 USD worth of grants to businesses to help buy and lease electric vehicles.
Although the Netherlands claims to be the first country to give its cities the freedom to go carbon-free, other cities seem to have made the move already. Research by Renault shows that many European cities are already moving toward zero emissions. In Germany, cities have designated low-emission zones, while in Italy, over 100 communities have introduced zones with limited traffic. Madrid, Barcelona and London all have similar measures in place to curb emissions.
Image via Biontologist