Advancing transport solutions to address climate change
The UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport, meeting on the margins of the Paris Climate Conference, pledged to highlight the critical role that sustainable transport will play in addressing climate change.
“Transport is currently responsible for nearly a quarter of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “The Advisory Group can help make sustainable transport a part of the solution to the climate crisis.”
The 16 members of the Group asserted that through innovation—in operations and policy as well as in technology—the transport sector can lower emissions while ensuring access to markets, services and social interaction for people in all parts of the world.
The Advisory Group, which includes leaders from the public and private sectors, and which represents all modes of transport, met on 7 December with Secretary-General Ban, and subsequently with government representatives and other stakeholders to advance the implementation of climate-related solutions. The Group pledged its support to a successful outcome in Paris.
“The problem of climate change is severe, and we need a large-scale shift in transport—in large cities, in rural areas, all around the world,” said Mayor Carolina Toha of Santiago, Chile, co-chair of the Advisory Group. “By strengthening the links between the modes of transport, and keeping people’s need for access at the centre of our thinking, we will make real progress.”
Mr. Martin Lundstedt, CEO of the Volvo Group and co-chair of the Advisory Group, emphasized that transport of freight and passengers has the potential to drive progress on climate change and to advance sustainable development.
“Transport can build prosperity in the broadest sense, enhancing the quality of life for all while protecting the environment and fighting climate change,” said Mr. Lundstedt. “We need bold innovation and a true partnership among governments, civil society and the private sector. This Group embodies this partnership and we are committed to concrete, actionable change.”
The Advisory Group was established for a period of three years and is expected to provide policy recommendations on sustainable transport actionable at the global, national, local and sector levels, and to promote the integration of sustainable transport in development strategies and policies, including in climate action.
It is working to ensure that sustainable transport makes a meaningful contribution to the sustainable development of the planet and the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) agreed at the UN Sustainable Development Summit.
Top right photo: World Bank/Arne Hoel