One-year after Rio+20, where the eight largest multilateral development banks jointly committed to invest approximately $175 billion over the next ten years in more sustainable transport systems in developing countries implementation of those commitments is on track according to transportation experts attending a dialogue on sustainable transport hosted by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Government of Germany in Berlin.
At Rio+20, 17 voluntary commitments were announced to advance activities on knowledge management, capacity building, policy dialogue and facilitation, as well as financing, for sustainable transport systems, and pledges were made to invest US$175 billion to finance more sustainable transportation systems over the coming decade.
The commitments on sustainable transport were among the more than 1,300 voluntary commitments made at and since last June’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development—Rio+20 and are worth close to US$600 billion toward sustainable development initiatives. At Rio+20, countries agreed on an outcome document, “The Future We Want,” that supports the development of sustainable transport systems, including energy-efficient multimodal transport systems, notably public mass transportations systems, clean fuels and vehicles.
At the Berlin High-level Dialogue on Implementing Rio+20 Decisions on Sustainable Cities and Urban Transport that concluded today, six additional voluntary Commitments were presented by members of the SLoCaT Partnership—a multi-stakeholder partnership of over 80 members—as part of a status report.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon commended the initiative of the eight multilateral banks that pledged the financing in a message to the Berlin meeting. “While financing investments in sustainable transport can be challenging, we have a model in the Rio+20 conference, which saw an unprecedented level of voluntary commitments.” He explained that, “better land use and more efficient transport systems help protect the environment. They also enhance urban-rural connections and the productivity of rural areas by increasing access to jobs, markets, goods and services.”
Make a difference in people’s lives
“These are the kind of transformative initiatives that will really make a difference in people’s lives,” says Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. “Sustainable transport will allow people more opportunities and cleaner air. It is an essential step as we move toward a low-carbon economy. The follow-up on these commitments is very good news.”
Michael Replogle, Managing Director for Policy and Founder of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy said the new commitments will make it possible for the transport community and other development partners to better observe and track how the sector develops and what the impact of policies and measures will be on the sustainability of the transport sector at the global, national or local level.
According to a report of the SLoCaT Partnership, fuel subsidies that support cars and trucks now range from $ 300 to 900 billion. Road crashes are responsible for 1.23 million deaths each year and the economic costs of these crashes are estimated at $ 2,240 billion, or 3 per cent of global GDP (5 per cent in low income countries).
The Report, “Creating Universal Access to Safe, Clean and Affordable Transport,” states that a number of organizations have been able to report tangible impacts linked to the implementation of some of the commitments. In the case of one commitment, a detailed tracking system was put in place that was able to determine that implementation of the commitments saved 0.85 billion hours of travel time, served 4.5 billion person -trips, avoided 2.2 million tons of CO2 emissions and saved 1,062 lives.
Source: UN Press Release
The full report is availabe at: http://slocat.net/rio20-VC