Pressure mounts on Uber to clean up

January 16, 2020

As more evidence emerges showing the negative impact of Uber on air pollution, traffic and climate change, prominent political figures are publicly demanding that the ride-hailing company goes zero emissions. 

Right after Christmas, Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles called on Uber and Lyft to go 100% electric in order to help the city achieve its climate and air quality goals. Mr Garcetti, who is the chair of C40 cities, a grouping of the world’s 40 megacities committed to addressing climate change, told the Financial Times: ‘We have the power to regulate car share. We can mandate, and are looking closely at mandating, that any of those vehicles in the future be electric.’

A few days before Christmas, in an editorial run by Liberation the deputy mayor of Paris, Jean-Louis Missika, and the city’s head of transport, Christophe Nadjovski, urged the central government to give them the power to regulate ride-hailing companies. The two politicians, currently in office and running for reelection next month, want to limit the amount of licenses for services like Uber in order to tackle the air pollution crisis in their city.

The latest T&E analysis of the taxi and ride-hailing market estimated that in London and Paris alone, the emissions of Uber taxi services could be as high as half a megatonne of CO2 – 515 kilotonnes of CO2. This is equivalent to adding the CO2 emissions of an extra 250,000 privately owned cars to the road.

Uber is one of the biggest taxi services in Europe, with 3.6 million users in London in 2019 and with 2.7 million users in France in 2017. Worryingly, French government data from 2017 shows that 90% of registered private hire vehicles, including Uber’s, were diesel cars.

Paris and Brussels citizens urge their politicians to clean up Uber

Citizens’ platform SumOfUs, Paris air pollution group Respire and T&E have launched a petition calling on the mayoral candidates for Paris to urge Uber to come clean. After one week, more than 15,000 citizens have signed the petition.

Yesterday, Brussels air pollution group, Les Chercheurs d’Air, joined efforts in mobilising citizens and launched a new petition targeting the Brussels region’s environment minister, Alain Maron. The action calls on the minister to only allow zero-emissions Uber rides in the capital city. If you want to take action, please follow #TrueCostOfUber and visit: