Colombia: How green energy is revolutionising transport, and investment
Green transport presents an alternative angle to the problem of global warming. In the US alone, more or less 29% of the nation’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions are due to vehicles, imploring us in other nations to set a better global precedent and encourage new models for environmental sustainability in the ways we move around in daily life. One region where innovative technologies are emerging with regards to environmental protection is Latin America, and within the area, Colombia is presenting itself as a front-runner for reshaping the transport sector in order to promote cleaner alternatives. This will become the focus of our article today, supported with some of the specific examples coming from Colombia that look towards a greener future for all of us as a global community.
The first example of Colombian innovation comes from Bogota, where sustainability is key to the longevity of such an urban sprawl. The idea of urban sprawl refers to the rapid development of residential areas, including into mountainous regions that could become inaccessible without appropriate transportation links. The use of electric cable cars is just one method for green development in the city, the system known as TransMiCable is perhaps a pathway to a cleaner future, while also highlighting Colombia as a hub for investment in this sector due to the potential for pioneering ideas such as this to make a global impact in other highly populated urban areas experiencing high carbon dioxide outputs.
The city has 8 million residents, and this figure will only grow, which leads us on to another initiative taking place in the city. We have mentioned already the impact of innovation in technology within the transport industry, and the Transmilenio electric bus system is the epitome of this link. With 350 buses currently in use by up to 2 million people a day, and a route reach of 55km, in terms of emissions, the network takes the equivalent of around 42,000 cars worth of harmful gas output out of the city per year, demonstrating the scope for scaling up the project regionally as well as internationally. This perhaps also begs the question as to whether investment in the network could accelerate the region towards achieving the United Nations Development Goals even sooner.
Some examples outside of Bogota manifest themselves in the medium-sized Colombian cities, as this is another area of focus as it is easy to overlook urban areas with less sizeable populations. However, this could be a costly mistake as any city where there are people implies there is a transport link, and without reworking and investment, they will remain hotspots for greenhouse gas emissions. Please see below some of these examples:
· Pasto: bicycle initiatives to encourage switching to two wheels in an effort to curb emissions
· Montería: Montería Amable system, providing new travel infrastructure while also planting trees in urban areas to offset pollution