A cross-party group of politicians has called on Whitehall to back joint working among European cities to accelerate the uptake of new technology. Writing in an open letter published in the Sunday Telegraph today (23rd July), 15 politicians highlighted the environmental and economic benefits of new technologies such as electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles emit zero carbon dioxide and particulate emissions at source, and have been touted as an answer to London’s air pollution crisis. The letter was signed by a raft of politicians including Conservative MEP Julie Girling, Labour peer Lord Whitty, and SNP MP Alan Brown. Lib Dem MEP Catherine Bearder joined Green Party peer Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb and Labour peer Baroness Blackstone in backing cross-border cooperation.
The letter highlights the work of Sharing Cities, a Europe-wide programme aiming to deliver pioneering new smart technologies in hundreds of municipalities including London, Milan, and Lisbon. The project draws on €24 million in EU funding. It aims to trigger €500 million in investment and to engage over 100 cities across Europe. The letter said: “Through municipalities working together, Sharing Cities is sharing the cost of testing new technologies and is using economies of scale to reduce the price paid by taxpayers and increasing the attractiveness to innovators.”
Sharing Cities Programme Director Nathan Pierce said: “Electric cars and bikes will help to transform our cities, helping to improve air quality and tackle climate change. “In order to achieve the Government’s ambitious aim of ‘almost every car and van to be zero emission by 2050’ it is clear that cities will need to work together.“We are pleased that such a broad group of politicians sitting in the European Parliament, Westminster and City Hall have come together to back the work we are already doing to achieve these aims.”
Sharing Cities has the ambitious goal of achieving a 10 percent switch from conventional vehicles to eMobility devices.