In the past year, many of us have spent an unprecedented amount of time at home, which means that a lot of our day-to-day tasks have moved from real-life interactions to online platforms. In some ways, this has been a wonderful break for the environment, but on the other hand, there has been a significant rise in online shopping deliveries.
The Netherlands’ environment minister Stientje van Veldhoven noticed this increase in delivery emissions and in response, decided to launch a plan that will ban all carbon-emitting delivery vehicles in urban areas. This is an essential step that must be taken if the government hopes to reach its zero-emission road traffic target by 2050.
The government is starting by only permitting zero-emission vehicles to be used by delivery services and has authorized all cities in the country to come up with zero-emission zones and logistics plans. To encourage the transport sector to go carbon-free, the government is offering grants worth $5,900 (USD) for businesses to help them buy or lease electric vehicles. The goal is for the ban to be in full effect by 2025.
According to the World Economic Forum, the growth of e-commerce would lead to a 36 percent increase in delivery vehicles in 100 of the world’s largest cities by 2030, and with that would also be a 32 percent increase in emissions. However, if all these additional vehicles were electric, then emissions would be cut by 30 percent.
The Netherlands isn’t alone in its quest to go carbon-free. Other European cities in Germany, Italy, and Spain are also moving towards the global goal of curbing emissions.