Role of Urban Mobility in Europe’s Green Energy Transition: Conversation with Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs

Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs’ is a leading expert in international and comparative climate policy, environmental politics, and low-carbon energy transitions. She highlights the role mobility sector is playing in Germany’s transition from traditional energy sources to more sustainable sources. She also shares her insights on the sustainable urban mobility journey that India has undertaken.

Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs

 School of Social Sciences and Technology, Technical University of Munich.

Chair of Environmental and Climate Policy at Technical University of Munich and is the vice chair of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils.

Germany has been working on energy transition for more than three decades. What, in your opinion, is the role of urban mobility in Germany’s current energy transition?

There’s been a big push to shift away from fossil fuels and to expand renewable energy. So far, that transition has gone much faster in the power sector than in the mobility sector. Efforts have been made to try and make some progress in the mobility sector.

I can’t say that Germany has moved as fast forwards in this area as we would have liked to see, but it’s now progressing much more quickly. We’re also seeing efforts to use biogas, in collection of household waste, bio-waste, and using biogas for the collection of waste within the trucks.

The last area that we’re starting to see much more work on is hydrogen fuels, green hydrogen, and the idea of fuel cells.I think we’re going to see a big transformation in the next decade.


If we look at the global scenario now, to what extent is Europe leading the way in technological innovation related to green energy?

I think Germany and the European Union have set pretty ambitious targets. Climate neutrality by 2050 for the European Union, 2045 for Germany, 2035 for cities like Munich. This means that not only the power sector, but the mobility sector needs to be completely rethought so that we are based on renewable energies, and we use much more shared mobility, much more mobility that is based on the less polluting forms of transport.

In this sense, I think Europe is leading and Germany is playing an important technological role. But we also see places like India, and we see developments going on here, maybe the Germans can also learn from India. I think you have far greater use of smaller forms of mobility, the two-wheelers, and the three-wheelers. Maybe Germany could learn a little from India in some things.


Based on your research, what is the most significant trend and achievement in energy transition in the last decades?

There have been so many exciting shifts. One is just a societal awareness that we can’t use the model of the past.

Climate change is here, it’s happening. The temperatures are increasing and there’s a real need for change. And the young people know that.  India is a country filled with young people. I think we’re starting to see that the industry is also recognizing that the next models of the future, industry of the future will be based on clean energy, on renewable energy, on energy efficiency, and on resource circularity.

And this means that we all need to rethink how we do things. We need to redesign our cities to make them more comfortable, greener and cleaner. The transitions are beginning and there’s still a lot to do. I don’t want to say, there’s not a whole lot of homework in front of us, but we are seeing some big and important changes and it’s happening globally.


Interview on Sustainable Urban Mobility with Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs

Interview on Sustainable Urban Mobility with Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs

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