Everything changed in 2020. Months of rolling shutdowns cost millions of people their livelihoods and pushed cities and businesses into survival mode. Longstanding inequities have worsened, with many of the same communities that have been plagued by air pollution now vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19.
Yet during lockdown, blue skies replaced smog above city skylines. Pollution levels fell and wildlife returned. The pandemic has caused many cities to rethink their infrastructure, transforming parking into parks and creating more space for walkers and cyclists. We’ve had a glimpse of what life could be like with less traffic and cleaner air—in cities built for people, not for cars.
But carbon emissions will return to “normal” soon. When two-thirds of the world’s population was under lockdown in early April, carbon emissions fell 17% compared to last year. By June, the drop was only 5%. And the fires that continue to rage across our home state of California are a sobering reminder of the urgency of the climate crisis.
Instead of going back to business as usual, Uber is taking this moment as an opportunity to reduce our environmental impact. It’s our responsibility as the largest mobility platform in the world to more aggressively tackle the challenge of climate change. We want to do our part to build back better and drive a green recovery in our cities.
While we’ve taken some important steps in recent years, from expanding micromobility options to offering public transit in the Uber app, we know we’ve got a long way to go. That’s why we’re working with the World Resources Institute, Transport & Environment (T&E), and others to become a stronger partner in the fight against climate change by leveraging our innovation, technology, and talent to expedite the global transition to clean energy.
Uber is committing to become a fully zero-emission platform by 2040, with 100% of rides taking place in zero-emission vehicles, on public transit, or with micromobility. We’re also setting an earlier goal to have 100% of rides take place in electric vehicles (EVs) in US, Canadian, and European cities by 2030. In fact, we believe we can achieve this 2030 goal in any major city where we can work with local stakeholders to implement policies that ensure a fair transition to EVs for drivers. In addition to our platform goals, we’re also committed to reaching net-zero emissions from our corporate operations by 2030. All told, hitting these goals would put us a decade ahead of Paris Climate Agreement targets.
Goals are important, but we know actions matter most. Uber will take a holistic approach to reducing emissions, starting with 4 key actions:
The world is at a critical juncture, and we all have a role to play. Uber is aiming high. We’ll seek to build the most efficient, decarbonized, and multimodal platform in the world for on-demand mobility. While we’re not the first to set ambitious goals in transitioning to EVs, we intend to be the first to make it happen. Competing on sustainability is a win for the world, and today we challenge other mobility platforms to transparency, accountability, and more action.
This is a start, and we expect to be judged against our actions. The ultimate success of our business will rest on our ability to transition our platform to clean energy in partnership with drivers, industry innovators, and governments. It’s the right thing to do for our customers, our cities, our shareholders, and the planet we all share.
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