"The climate emergency is only too real - we must face it together!"
That was today's stark warning from Jean-Luc Moudenc, Mayor of Toulouse, at the opening ceremony of the 14th ITS European Congress, which takes place in the southern French city.
Addressing delegates at the Congress, which is organised by Ertico - ITS Europe, he said: "We need your insights and initiatives" in order to make mobility smarter and to mitigate the environmental impact of the movement of people and goods.
By 2024, Toulouse will host the largest campus in Europe dedicated to the development of green hydrogen, he added.
In a video message, Adina Vălean, transport commissioner at the European Commission, insisted that "a sustainable and smart transport system is a resilient one" and called on Congress delegates to provide "new solutions to our old problems".
The EC's focus on a green and digital transformation for the mobility sector chimes with the key themes of this year's Congress.
Ertico chairman Dr Angelos Amditis emphasised the Congress theme of 'smart and sustainable mobility for all' and pointed to the vital role that the 'goldmine' of data will play in making this a reality.
But he also highlighted the potential pitfalls around data, particularly in terms of quality, protection and cybersecurity. "These pose enormous challenges for all mobility stakeholders," he said.
Collaboration will be vital to improve today's mobility ecosystem: "We all hold a piece in the puzzle," he concluded.
The ITS European Congress 2022 runs from 30 May to 1 June.