Introductory Statement Thematic Session 5: Policies for Sustainable Transport Second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference

Your Excellency, Mr. Feng Zhenglin, Administrator of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, 
Distinguished Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen. 

It is a privilege to co-chair this session on policies for sustainable transport together with Minister Feng. 

As the theme of this session is policies for sustainable transport, I believe economic, social, and environmental aspects must all be considered simultaneously in this discussion. 

According to the recently launched UN interagency report, significant gaps remain in progress towards sustainable transport.  These gaps must be seen in the context of major global shortfalls in:

  • eradicating poverty, 
  • empowering women,
  • reducing inequality, and 
  • mitigating climate change. 

With their potential for driving results across multiple SDGs, policies for sustainable transport must also be coordinated, and coherent, with those across different sectors and entities. 

Distinguished Participants,

The policies we put into place today, will have impacts well into the future. That is why we must anticipate what is likely to happen next. 

Trends in population growth, changing age structures, urbanization, globalization, climate change, and technological development are all key. 

At the same time, the strength and density of our interconnections, means that all levels – from local to national, as well as regional and international – need to be mutually supportive.

Each country will have its own path forward. 

But there are three policy questions that are common to all. How we answer them will ultimately determine how truly transformative we are.

First, how well are we doing in ensuring convenient and affordable access for all people, everywhere? Our measures of success in improving lives and reducing inequality, must include effectiveness at leaving no one behind, now and in the future. 

Second, how well are we mitigating the negative impacts on the environment? Solutions exist for mitigating:

  • pollution over the life cycle, 
  • poor air quality, and 
  • green-house gas emissions. 

Even as we expand access to transport, we must step up the pace of addressing existing problems, without creating new ones.

Third, how well do our policies ‘crowd-in’ the efforts of non-governmental actors, and those from different sectors? Businesses, banks, entrepreneurs, engineers, academics and concerned citizens – as well as ministries and agencies working in different sectors – are all essential. Policies must leverage their comparative advantages.

Distinguished Participants, 

While it is important to act quickly, it is also necessary to do so wisely.

Let us, together, accelerate progress towards achieving sustainable transport and, through that, our other shared objectives for people, planet and prosperity.
I thank you.

File date: 
Saturday, October 16, 2021

Mr. Liu