Nordic exchange of experience about policy instruments on sustainable mobility

Nordic countries has had a meeting to share experiences about the policies instruments for sustainable mobility, with a focus on financial support and agreements between the national government, and regional or local governments to achieve more sustainable cities. These kinds of instruments exist in all the Nordic countries but in different variations and extent. At the meeting some recommendations were given based on the participants’ reasoning:

  • To reach the set climate objectives we need to substantially increase the accessibility with alternative modes compared to car. Infrastructure measures should mainly be financed, and potentially also operational measures if the cost are increasing. It is also worth considering whether it should be possible to provide support at the planning stage.

  • Both “sticks” and “carrots” are needed in the agreements, i.e., both measures restricting car traffic and supporting sustainable traveling are needed. Revenues from “sticks” can in some cases finance some of the “carrots”.

  • Overall general targets are good for guidance but broken-down measurable targets are also needed for follow-up.

  • Both small and large projects may need to be financed. This should also be linked to the size of the municipality.

  • Negotiations increase the possibility of achieving a joint commitment and reduces the risk that measures may not be implemented or that they are watered down.

  • Agreements should be long-term rather than short-term (this does not apply to small projects that were not created by negotiation), since there is a greater possibility of achieving a change in behaviour over a longer period of time.

  • An overall policy instrument can be helpful, coordinated by an authority. Various parts within this policy instrument can be financed.

  • It should be possible to apply for funding for some of the costs. Partial financing at 50% is reasonable.

  • It is important to continue to learn lessons from each other and to review the effects of measures (potentially by involving academics).