Concluding COP24 in Katowice: UITP leads on climate action with public transport

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  • Advocacy

COP24. Katowice, Poland. December 2018.

The world gathers to review the progress made on climate change.

UITP is once again participating at COP to advocate for climate action and the major role public transport can play when it comes to the environment.

By moving more people from individual vehicles and on to public transport, the sector can play a large part in reducing emissions and benefiting the lives of all of our citizens.

Therefore alongside our major activities on climate throughout the year, UITP has been extremely active before, during and after, COP24.

Now that our time in Katowice has concluded, find out what we have achieved…

When you are the only international association to bring together all stakeholders within the public transport sector, it’s important to recognise the role UITP and our members play in taking action on climate.

In the lead-up to COP24, UITP entered in to two key partnerships to advocate for public transport and climate action.

Up first, we had our agreement with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, WHO and the City of Katowice, where our unique ‘hanging cards’ were launched with the Breathe Life campaign. Our cards were displayed on all modes of public transport before and during COP24 to show the citizens of Katowice, and the visiting delegates, how they are ‘Climate Heroes’ by using public transport!

Our partners at Breathe Life were so enthused by our on the ground efforts that they have published a separate news article of their own on our joint climate action efforts.

The second, was our major COP24 partnership with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and our sectoral colleagues at UIC.

This partnership is a huge achievement for UITP, which not only places us alongside other selected UNFCCC partners such as Facebook, Google, VISA and Ikea, but makes us, alongside UIC, the only public transport associations to be accepted in this way.

What an achievement for UITP!

Our agreement with the UNFCCC elevated our status at COP24 even further by giving us the opportunity to feature on Facebook Live for a very special interview. Our European Expert on Sustainable Mobility Philip Turner was UITP’s interviewee and informed the audience watching of the importance UITP places on climate action and the role we play alongside our members.

To have the opportunity to work with Facebook at COP24, and to have our vision livestreamed to millions was a great honour.

Two other very important achievements to detail are our joint position paper with the World Bank on electric mobility and development. Our Central Eastern Europe lead Artur Perchel launched the report on the ground in Katowice, further solidifying our collaboration with the World Bank.

This global study is dedicated to the technological and market developments of both private and public electric vehicles, and showcases examples of fleet deployment from around the world, including insights from several UITP members.

The report gained a great deal of attention in Katowice and beyond, so please stay tuned to UITP’s newsroom for more on this going forward.

One occasion where our joint report with the World Bank was well received, was the COP24 dedicated Transport Day, held in conjunction with UITP, POLIS, and Rupprecht Consult, on behalf of the European Commission’s CIVITAS Initiative, SLoCaT on behalf of PPMC and supported by the City of Katowice.

This day featured numerous high-level panels and breakout sessions, with detailed discussions on decarbonising transport, sustainability, mobility, adapting to climate and the latest innovations.

The audience was joined by special guests European Commissioner Violeta Bulc, Vice Minister of Mobility from Portugal Jose Mendes, and the Mayor of Katowice, Marcin Krupa.

It was with great delight to receive all three guests and we thank them for their interesting contributions!

Throughout the rest of our time in Katowice, UITP had the honour of featuring, alongside our members, on high-level panels and roundtable discussions. Two of our members from UITP’s Sustainable Development Commission, Jonas Stromberg of Scania and Cecile Texier of Alstom, gave brilliant contributions to their panel sessions.

We also spent more time with our members outside of the COP campus when our team on the ground participated in the site visit to Alstom’s Katowice plant. To see up close how the Alstom team build and prepare their trains for international clients was a sight to behold! Thank you to Barry Howe, Secretary General of the Alstom Foundation and Cecile Texier, for arranging the tour with their Alstom team in Poland.

Our social media feeds were alive with interest during COP24 where major announcements, achievements and special moments were brought to your attention on our corporate account and rolling news, live on the ground, from our Press Office.

Speaking of Twitter, after our meeting with UNFCCC partnerships team, they were extremely interested in our hanging cards campaign and decided to promote it on their own social media feed!

As well detailing all of our activities on Twitter, we were pleased to bring you our live diary blogs on LinkedIn. You can revisit our introduction to COP24 blog, as well as all of the happenings from Day1, Day 2 and Day 3you can catch up on all things COP as if you were with us on the ground!

As our two partnerships for COP24 were of vital importance to UITP, it was great to see the UNFCCC select our two press release announcements for their newsroom. Another great UITP achievement!

As well as advocating for public transport and climate action at COP24, the UITP Policy Board convened in Lyon (a gathering of our members involved in the decision-making process of the organisation in terms of political positioning) where our members took this opportunity to renew the 2014 Declaration on Climate Leadership.

The members of our Policy Board have committed to communicating on their future climate actions, and they ask that the rest of our fellow members do the same. This will encourage further climate actions on national and global levels.

We believe that public transport is key to achieving the Paris Climate Agreement, and that UITP and its members can play an active role in scaling up climate actions on local and national levels—and that is exactly what we have determined to do.

Signed by UITP President Pere Calvet and Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani, we invite the rest of our members to share their support of this important Declaration as well. 

What a week it has been for UITP!

We thank everyone who contributed towards our climate actions and encourage you all to spend some time catching up on our activities and to always advocate for public transport as a major solution to climate change.

Until COP25, see you next year.

Visit our dedicated climate action page for more.


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