Press releases

Monday 10 Sep 2001

New Tv Films Explore Transport Trends From Both Ends Of The Technology Spectrum

Paris/Nairobi September 2001 - Two new Earth Report films to be broadcast worldwide this month on BBC World explore transport trends from both ends of the technology spectrum. The films, 'Water in Your Tank ' and 'Without Wheels', are made with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

More than a quarter of the word's energy is used for transport. Road Transport represents 80% of this energy use and accounts for more than 25% of total CO2 emissions. Moreover, local and regional air pollution, congestion in urban areas and land conversion for road-building are key problems. With growing demand for mobility in developed and developing countries, these problems will get more and more pressing.

'Water in your Tank ' concentrates on the hydrogen technologies predicted by many experts to be central to sustainable transport in the twenty-first century. The film was produced independently by the Television Trust for the Environment (TVE) in collaboration with the Sustainable Mobility Project of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

'Water in Your Tank' follows the dream of Professor Bragi Arnason of the University of Iceland: 30 years ago he proposed to his colleagues that by the year 2030 they should use hydrogen derived from Iceland's renewable geothermal sources to fuel both their transport sector and their entire economy. Some laughed at him ; others thought him crazy. We see how Iceland has just taken its first steps to a future beyond oil.

'Water in Your Tank' asks just how far away our hydrogen future is. The environmentalists want it here ?now; the auto and energy industries say it will only come step by step when the market and the infrastructure are ready for it, and the regulators doubt that it will come without a combination of stick and carrot, hands-on regulation and market incentives.

'Without wheels' looks at the transport issue from the developing world perspective following the experiences of poor communities in Guinea, Tanzania and Malawi in accessing appropriate transport. It follows the projects of a rural transport and access programme financed by several international agencies including DFID and the World Bank.

For Josephine Mwaukusuye in Kindia, Guinea, West Africa the concerns of the promoters of the new hydrogen economy seem an age away. Her interests relate to the provision of basic transport infrastructure :

"The development of the community starts with the road. Because you need a road to get accessibility. But that is only the beginning. Rural access means, getting access to education, school, getting access to the health sector, but also to the marketing, there's a lot a lot more issues to be taken care of".

Through its Mobility Forum, UNEP is working to strengthen communication and cooperation between the automotive industry, consumers and government. This Forum provides a platform for the automotive industry to share environmental best practice experience, and to develop new strategies for sustainable mobility.

For further information on 'Water on Your Tank ' and 'Without Wheels' please look up www.tve.org/earthreport from 03/09/01.

Broadcast Times in GMT of 'Water in Your Tank ' on BBC World : Monday September 3rd : 0330 2130 ; Tuesday 4th 0830 1130 1430 Wednesday 5th 0130 0530 Saturday 8th 1830 ; Sunday 9th 0730

For further details on Earth Report, please contact Mark Harvey, Director of Development, TVE, Prince Albert Road, London, NW1 4RZ: Tel : + 44 207 586 5526 / Fax + 44 207 586 4866

Email : mark.harvey@tve.org.uk

For further details on the Mobility Forum of the UNEP Energy and OzoneAction Unit, please contact Martina Otto in Paris on Tel. +33-1-4437-7615 (direct)

Fax. +33-1-4437-1474, Email: , http://www.uneptie.org/

For details of the WBCSD Sustainable Mobility Project, please contact Kristian Pladsen Communications Manager - Sustainable Mobility Project. World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), 4, ch. de Conches, CH-1231 Conches-Geneva, Switzerland. Tel. +41.22.839 3100/1 F. +41.22.839 3131 Cell. +47.901 10 353 Web/Email :

UNEP Information Note 01/31

Monday 10 Sep 2001
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