The first of the Climate Café events took place on Monday, 19 September, as part of the LIFE IP CARE4CLIMATE project. The event was launched during European Mobility Week in cooperation with the European Commission in Slovenia and IPOP – Institute for Spatial Policies. The theme of sustainable mobility in practice was accompanied by a diverse programme of events.
The guests of the Climate Café were Dr Jerneja Jug Jerše, Head of European Commission Representation in Slovenia, Dr Aidan Cerar from IPOP – Institute for Spatial Policies, and a regular public transport user Eva Omahen, who all spoke with Maša Pavoković about sustainable mobility in practice.
The panellists acknowledged the benefits of using active forms of mobility and public passenger transport, and agreed that sustainable forms of mobility are becoming increasingly diverse, attractive and accessible.
Dr Jug Jerše drew attention to a number of ambitious projects being implemented at the European Union level. She highlighted the NextGenerationEU financial package, which will enable Europe to move to a higher level of development through green investments in, for example, the improvement of railways and legislation on public passenger transport.
Slovenians' travel habits have changed over the last few years. According to Dr Aidan Cerar, short commutes by car have decreased, which is (especially in larger cities) the effect of closing streets and city centres to traffic or opening them up to pedestrians and cyclists. Such a measure has generally been well received in the long term, which Dr Cerar also substantiated with the achievements of the IPOP Safe School Arrivals project.
Eva Omahen emphasised that due to short distances in Slovenia, travelling with public passenger transport is easy and affordable, and could therefore, in her view, be used more frequently by Slovenians.
The panellists agreed that significant improvements were still needed in public passenger transport in Slovenia, but we could start changing our travel habits where it is easiest – short distances of up to two kilometres can be travelled either on foot or by bicycle.
The event was enriched by a well-prepared accompanying programme. It also featured an all-day bike repair shop, masterfully provided by Depo reuse centre in Vrhnika. Guests and passers-by were able to enjoy fair-trade coffee from the Buna cooperative and a fair-trade 'kifeljc' (croissant) made in Slovenia with ingredients of verified Slovenian origin. Passers-by also tested their knowledge on climate change on the climate wheel of fortune, learned a thing or two and earned practical sustainability prizes.
The Climate Café continues its journey to Portorož on 15 October, where the focus will be on energy efficiency. More information will be available soon.
We look forward to having you join us!