Green Drive Region is a three-year Interreg project that covers Akershus and Hedmark in Norway and Värmland, Dalarna and Gävleborg in Sweden. The project started on 1 July 2015 and is a collaboration across borders with the intent reduce the use of fossil fuels in road traffic.
Fossil fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, account for a large proportion of today’s environmental problems. Combustion of fossil fuels increases atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, which is a so-called greenhouse gas. A fossil fuel emission contributes to the greenhouse effect and raises the earth’s temperature. The increased concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere also leads to increased uptake of carbon in our oceans, which in turn causes acidification.
Road traffic has long been dependent on fossil fuels, and it is a major contributor to carbon emissions. This is especially evident in the transport sector in Sweden and Norway. It is urgent to find sustainable solutions to the environmental problems caused by the combustion of fossil fuels and one way to do this is to become completely independent of fossil fuels.
Travel between Sweden and Norway have increased due to the expanded labour market and the need for transport between the countries is growing continuously. The challenge will be to find sustainable transportation solutions that can provide more opportunities to travel between countries and regions. This is also a driving force of sustainable business development in all sectors. This may contribute to increased entrepreneurship; export opportunities and employment in the area. Locally produced biofuels creates jobs in the region.
The goal of the project is that 10 percent of road traffic will be independent of fossil fuels by the end of 2018. This means a reduction in carbon emissions of around 150 000 tonnes. The project is a step in the long-term goal of fossil-fuel independent road traffic by 2030. To achieve this, work will focus on creating an increased demand for alternatives to fossil fuels. Unique to this project is that it covers several technologies. It includes electric cars, fuel cell vehicles and biofuel vehicles. If you choose to own a car, we want you to be aware of the most environmentally-friendly, fossil free alternatives and select one of these if you are unable to use public transport, walk or cycle.
Collaboration across borders
Region Värmland is the main project leader and its main project partners are Kunskapsbyen Lillestrøm, Region Dalarna, Region Gävleborg and Energiråd Innlandet.
The collaboration builds on the previous joint electric vehicle project Green Drive. The target audience is primarily the government and the private sector in the project area. The general public is also affected in a longer perspective because it is ultimately a question of attitude and behavioural change.
The regions should have the opportunity to learn from each other and collaborate on strategies towards new infrastructure and fossil-free transport.
By offering meeting places and supporting the industrial players, the project will contribute to more and stronger enterprises while at the same time decreasing the dependency on fossil fuels, creating a stronger economy. The project will include a number of activities that contribute to achieving the goal. Among other things, the project will provide opportunities to test zero emission vehicles and exchange experiences that may foster increased demand for alternatives to fossil fuels. One of the activities will take the form of a relay across the region. We want to reach decision makers and all motorists – the combination is essential. The supply of fossil free fuels and infrastructure depends on political decisions, while it is you and I that can change our behavior when we choose a car and fuel.
Green Drive Region is a project that contributes to achieving the goals that are already present for the environment, climate and transport at local, regional and national levels.
The project is also a concrete part of regional development. In the project area; Värmland, Dalarna, Gävleborg, Akershus and Hedmark, there are already regional strategies. Green Drive Region will therefore work to achieve these regional goals.
Interreg is an EU program that aims to develop cooperation across borders. Interreg is also called the «European territorial cooperation», financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The programs have been designed to solve problems that transcend administrative boundaries and require a common solution.