UITP highlights role of public transport at Climate Action Summit

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UITP Secretary General Alain Flausch spoke about the major role public transport plays in cutting carbon emissions, during the Climate Action 2016 summit from 5 to 6 May in Washington, DC.

Climate change is the defining issue of our age. The landmark Paris Agreement reached last December commits all countries to holding global temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees Celsius”. This feat will require economy-wide global and national transformations. A robust, multi-sector response will be required and the Climate Summit aimed to accelerate action needed to achieve the kind of progress needed to achieve the future we want.

The UITP Declaration on Climate Leadership – an initiative highlighted at COP 21 as a leading solution to climate action - is a commitment from the sector to support governments at all levels to provide them with the technical support and capacity building to scale up climate action on public transport.  Real world initiatives committed by UITP members in support of the Declaration demonstrate the ability of the sector to climate action: such as pledges of the city of São Paolo’s pledge to reduce more than 1.35 million tonnes of carbon dioxide through a modal shift to public transport or the implementation of Bus Rapid Transit networks in Dakar, Senegal and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

UITP can support countries deliver on their climate plans by facilitating the sharing of experience and expertise on what works and the partnerships needed that can scale up action.

Mr. Flausch’s presentation at the 2016 Climate Summit is part of UITP’s wider activities aimed to double the world’s modal share of public transport by 2025. As technology alone can’t achieve this goal, UITP can support countries deliver on their climate plans by facilitating the sharing of experience and expertise on what works and the partnerships needed that can scale up action.

UITP’s presence again at the Climate Action Summit in 2016 demonstrates the importance of public transport to fighting climate change but also the value of international collaborative initiatives in supporting cities and countries for action, knowledge sharing and capacity building. This is because countries have identified specific public transport interventions in their climate plans that aim to deliver the Paris Agreement.

Looking ahead, UITP will continue to reach out to governments in several other events in the lead-up to the COP22 summit, held this year from 7 to 18 November in Marrakech, Morocco with its Declaration.  This is because UITP members will be required to deliver on the public transport interventions outlined in national climate plans.  This is important because countries are likely to want to over deliver as public transport interventions will have multiple strong domestic social and economic benefits but these plans are contingent not only on financial support but also international technical and capacity support, which UITP is best placed to deliver.

To continue to press for a stronger commitment to sustainable transport, from 18 to 20 May, Mr. Flausch will also speak at the International Transport Forum’s Summit on Green and Inclusive Transport, in Leipzig, Germany. Additionally, UITP is currently active as one of the co-chairs tasked to draft key points to be included in the final UN Habitat III agreement, which will be held in Quito, Ecaudor from 17 to 21 October as well as advisory member of the UN Secretary Generals High Level Group on Sustainable Transport.

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