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How easy adjustments to metropolis procurement can cut back CO2 emissions

This text was initially printed by Anna Lisa Boni on Cities At the moment, the main information platform on city mobility and innovation, reaching a global viewers of metropolis leaders. For the most recent updates comply with Cities At the moment on Twitter, Fb, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, or join Cities At the moment Information.

The set-piece battle of the following ten years is taking form. On one facet, European cities, and on the opposite, emissions, CO2, and air pollution. The aim? To realize carbon neutrality and take one step nearer to the tip of the local weather disaster.

Cities throughout Europe have an arsenal of instruments on this combat in opposition to local weather change however one that’s typically missed is procurement. Within the grand coalition of humanity preventing a standard foe, this highly effective device should not be ignored.

The proof is there. In Oslo, the world has seen the primary ever zero-emissions development website – or Zemcons. On the Olav V road renovation challenge, all of the equipment – diggers, excavators, and loaders – is electrical.

The challenge has enormous advantages for Oslo’s residents by way of air high quality and noise air pollution. It additionally reminds us that development, as an example, represents 23 p.c of the world’s CO2 emissions, and virtually six p.c of those emissions come immediately from actions on development websites.


Oslo, together with Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Lisbon, Trondheim, and Vienna, is a part of the Zemcons group of the EU-funded Massive Patrons for Local weather and Atmosphere. This can be a success story of joint European collaboration in procurement to maneuver in direction of local weather neutrality.

Most of all, initiatives such because the Olav V road renovation ship a transparent message to the business: the demand for zero-emissions development equipment is there. The availability should now transfer to satisfy this demand.

Critics may even see the problem of shifting the market in direction of zero-emissions equipment as a pricey uphill battle however turning our long-established habits on their heads has been the theme for many of Europe of late – who can say they haven’t opted for greener and cleaner buying habits prior to now ten years? For cities, joint European collaboration, corresponding to via the Massive Patrons for Local weather and Atmosphere, is sending a transparent sign of their intent to vary their procurement plans – and this variation is engaging for each patrons and suppliers.

Daring and impressive cities are engaged on checks and trials in collaboration with suppliers throughout Europe. Oslo gained’t be the final metropolis to have clear, inexperienced, and quiet development websites. There is no such thing as a disgrace or blame in such a collaboration – when the best-laid plans don’t work, cities and development suppliers work collectively to search out options.

As my colleague Romeo Apetrei-Thomassen from Oslo says: “We have to inform the market that that is coming. The quicker you modify your profile, the higher it’s going to be for society.”


The truth is, we are able to see the fruits of this joint European collaboration already. Within the Nordic market, stress from public authorities has pushed suppliers to take the step in direction of zero-emissions equipment. For instance, NASTA now presents a battery-powered 17.5-ton excavator that’s cleaner and quieter than its diesel-powered counterpart. Different suppliers corresponding to Caterpillar, Wacker Neuson, Liebherr, Hitachi CM, and Volvo CE are additionally all transferring in direction of electrifying their fleets.

Nevertheless, that is nonetheless not sufficient to maintain up with regional demand. It’s clear that there’s momentum behind the Zemcons development, which is why it’s key that the political will required to implement these formidable initiatives doesn’t dry up. In Oslo, Copenhagen, and Helsinki, the expertise reveals that unwavering political assist was a key issue within the success of their pilot websites.

Cities in Europe have clearly demonstrated their energy to be modern of their strategy to preventing local weather change. It was not by magic that Oslo’s Olav V website got here into being – it took arduous work and a political dedication to lowering the development sector’s carbon footprint.

If one metropolis can use procurement in such an efficient manner, the profit from cities working collectively on this space could possibly be the key weapon within the combat in opposition to local weather change.

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Printed December 27, 2020 — 01:00 UTC

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