Well as it turns out, our friendly little globes didn’t need to travel as far as originally planned as due to some last-minute changes, the UNFCCC found a new location for the climate talks in Madrid, Spain.
The success of the campaign to encourage decision-makers to place public transport and climate action at the heart of the political agenda has been incredible…with Ministers, Mayors and the media jumping aboard. We’ve had ringing endorsements from around the world!
So when it came time to set up camp at COP25 – via the train with our Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani – we had trouble knowing where to begin.
How about somewhere near the beginning…
According to the United Nations, 55% of the world population lived in cities in 2018 - and UN forecasts this percentage to increase up to 80% by 2050.
Transport is currently responsible for about one fifth of the global CO2 emissions, so it’s clear that a lot of work needs to be done.
UITP and our international membership know the vital role public transport plays in delivering climate action, and this year, we knew that our presence at COP would be more active and influential than ever before.
Our #ONEPLANet climate campaign contains a four step plan to lower emissions and clean the air in our cities.
We were ready to showcase it to the world in at COP25 and on 2 December, in Madrid, Spain, and so we arrived determined to advocate for the involvement of their sector in fighting climate change.
The UITP team was led by our President Pere Calvet and Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani, and alongside our Director of Advocacy and Outreach Dionisio Gonzalez and Sustainable Senior Manager and Climate Lead Philip Turner, we were busy coordinating, advocating and communicating throughout the proceedings during the transportation thematic events and discussions in Madrid.
From the official Transport Days, to our side-event with partners, and meetings with ministers, mayors, to interviews with our Sec Gen and El Pais newspaper and our President on television and radio, UITP’s message on advancing publlic transport was heard loud and proud with our #ONEPLANet campaign.
Public transport should be at the heart of the global climate talks. And with the mantra,“I prescribe you a massive dose of public transport”, our schedule was heavy with hope and determination.
According to the wise words of our Secretary General, COP is all about connecting people, and through our involvement on panels and presentations, alongside sectoral partners such as UNDESA, UNHABITAT, uic, SLoCaT, Ren21 and figures such as the Spanish Transport Minister, the Mayor of Copenhagen and the High-Level Champion for COP25, our time was well spent and our message was clear. You can hear from many of our global ambassadors in their own words here.
Plus how can you go wrong with a Nobel Laureate and an impressive group of the world’s youngest, and most influential, voices on climate, along the way!
Our message was also heard outside the COP25 venue as all week long our #ONEPLANet ambassadors were found at various stops and stations across the entire Madrid public transport network greeting delegates and travellers with information on our global campaign...Check out some of them in action!
And that’s a wrap on COP25…what a week for the world!
Too much to follow at once? Well check out our full schedule, including stand-out moments, important meetings and influential people, in our daily journey on Twitter!
The crucial climate talks in Madrid may have concluded without the expected commitments from the countries who emit the most CO2 emissions, meaning the fight for change continues.
The EU has announced its Green New Deal committing to net zero emissions by 2050 and you can see UITP’s response here, as we advocate for a climate-neutral Europe with public transport.
Here’s what we do know…
Public transport and climate action go hand-in-hand – and its time all decision makers implement what they already know into their climate plans.
“One Planet, One Plan” will officially conclude in January 2020, with a few special final moments, so there’s still time to jump on board. Join us.
Catch up on our arrival at COP25 here.
To quote our friends at COP25…it's #TimeForAction