Climate Summit NY: what contribution from public transport?

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders from the fields of government, finance, business and civil society as well as all UN Member States to convene in New York on September 23 for the Climate Summit 2014.

The Summit follows on from the ‘Abu Dhabi Ascent,’ which was held in May 2014 and brought together 1,000 government ministers, business, finance and civil society leaders from around the world to generate momentum for concrete actions to be taken at the Summit itself in September. 

The UN Secretary-General has now asked these leaders to bring bold announcements and actions to the Climate Summit in New York that will accelerate progress in reducing emissions, strengthening climate resilience and mobilising political will for a meaningful global climate agreement in 2015.

What’s the urgency and why now?

The problem of climate change is not one that can be saved for future generations to deal with: it is already having very real consequences around the world both for people’s lives and for national economies.

However, there is cause for optimism. Both countries and businesses are starting to realise the economic opportunities and reduced risks in cutting their greenhouse emissions and strengthening their climate resilience.

The aim of the 2014 Climate Summit is to catalyse action on the ground to work towards an ambitious global agreement by 2015 that will limit the world to a less than two-degree Celsius rise in global temperature. 

Countries have agreed on the need for a meaningful, robust, universal and legal climate agreement by 2015. To mobilise action ahead of 2015, Ban Ki-moon has convened the Climate Summit to encourage world leaders to start taking action now; it is hoped that this will increase political will for greater action and ambition in the climate agreement. 

The transport contribution

Public transport will also be bringing its own plans for action to the Summit. Ban Ki-moon personally urged UITP members to show their climate leadership with concrete future actions to reduce emissions in their respective cities and to strengthen climate resilience.

These actions could include projects to reduce business operational emissions or projects that will help bring about a modal shift. These plans will be analysed to provide evidence that the public transport sector is delivering on climate action at the Summit. It will also reinforce UITP’s goal of doubling the worldwide public transport market share by 2025.

CONTACT: Philip Turner, philip.turner(at) ;  Jérôme Pourbaix, jerome.pourbaix(at)

Photo: © iStock/bwzenith

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