“Global Challenge, Global Solutions” is a series hosted on Climasphere highlighting inspiring, innovative, and creative global solutions to the challenge of climate change in the lead up to the next major climate conference, COP22. These solutions have been provided by members of the Earth To Marrakech coalition, a group of more than 50 media organizations, civil society groups, and businesses from around the world who are raising their voices in a collective call to move from words to action on climate change. Let’s send a message, from Earth To Marrakech: The solutions to climate change are out there, and they’re inspiring.
Light-Rail Promotes Green Transit in Africa
In September 2015, Addis Ababa launched its much-anticipated 34-km lightrail system. Expected to carry 60,000 people per hour in all directions, and handle one million commuters every day once fully operational, the project has been designed to make commuting easier for the city’s nearly four million residents.
Funded largely by China Railway Group Limited, the project is part of the city’s larger, long-term vision of growth and development. The light-rail line enables the Ethiopian capital to manage and shape its development along transit routes, meaning less congestion, less CO2 emissions from transport, and easier, faster commutes.
RELEVANCE OF SOLUTION
Addis Ababa is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, and adequate public transit is crucial to ensure the city can manage its expected future growth. The light-rail project lays important groundwork, giving the Ethiopian capital a firm transit structure so that future development can occur alongside existing transit routes, reducing dependence on automobiles.
TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE
Shifting commuting from automobiles to public transit is one of the most effective strategies for lowering CO2 emissions from the transport sector.
Africa has less than 3% of the world’s motor vehicles, but more than 11% of global road fatalities.4 Investing in public transit can make African cities safer for commuters.
Public transport infrastructure has the potential to create high-quality, long lasting jobs, which supports strong local economies.5