After approving a recovery package in 2021, in which sustainable mobility is included, the European Union (EU) not only focuses its efforts on this matter within the old continent, but also expands its initiatives to Latin America.
The European bloc invested 500,000 euros in a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan for the city of Antofagasta, Chile, as part of its Euroclima+ Program.
The plan’s design is based on four fundamental pillars: Diagnosis, Vision Design, Objectives, Indicators and Targets, Development of Measures and Implementation Planning. The goal of the project is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by the transportation sector and improve the region’s quality of life and environment.
In addition to carrying out measures by the authorities of Antofagasta, the initiative seeks to empower citizens about the role of transportation and mobility in the face of climate change, for which an informative web page was generated, online surveys were developed and a Social Roundtable was implemented, where issues related to the design of the plan were debated by civil society and the private sector.
The project also seeks to strengthen transparency by creating a Mobility Observatory, which will use a series of indicators to provide information on the state of mobility in the city and its future progress.
The implementation of the program in Antofagasta also has long-term goals, projecting a reduction of up to 55% in transport emissions by 2050. In addition, within the framework of the decontamination plan for Calama, the regional government requested support from Euroclima+ in order to generate the bidding conditions for drawing up a similar plan for that city, which, if implemented, would leave the region’s two main metropolises on a very good path towards carbon neutrality in the transport sector in the coming years.
The Governor of Antofagasta, Ricardo Díaz Cortés, emphasized that the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (PMUS) is important for the transformation of public transport, with the inclusion of electric bus stations, the possibility of using electric buses, and of generating investments that project towards greater care for the environment.
“The region of Antofagasta is the future of Chile. Here is the possibility of developing important investments that point towards future development; electromobility, the development of non-conventional renewable energies, or the development of green hydrogen as a fuel that, associated with the production of copper and lithium, positions us as a pioneering region in everything that is coming in the future in the development of a much more sustainable planet”, expressed Díaz.
For his part, the Ambassador of the European Union in Chile, León De La Torre, pointed out that the SUMP of Antofagasta is an instrument that allows the current scenario to be transformed into a low-emission one.
“The EU has accumulated experience in the methodological development of these plans and Latin America has developed a resilient, innovative culture, capable of adapting these methodologies to the local reality and avoid reaching the emission rates that exist in countries outside the region. Both the EU and Latin America have a lot to learn from each other, and in this sense the Plan is a joint benefit,” he added.
He explained that Euroclima+ is a program financed by the European Union to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, particularly for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations.