Continuing to fight climate change by advocating for sustainable transport and urban mobility is vital

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  • Advocacy

This is the UITP official response to the IPCC Report

As the passionate champion of urban mobility, UITP believes in advancing our cities to better the lives of all citizens. With this aim comes the responsibility to remain aware of the changing world around us.

UITP knows that alongside our members, the sector must stand up and be counted in recognising that sustainable mobility should always be the aim.

We can reduce emissions and fight climate change together

The Paris Climate Agreement set a target of no more than 2°c global warming above pre-industrial temperatures, but the agreement also set an aspirational target of no more than 1.5°c.

Recently, the United Nations asked The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to conduct a special report looking in to not only what it would take to achieve the 1.5°c, but what would happen if this target wasn’t reached.

In their report (8 October 2018) IPCC stated that the world has 12 years to limit global warming to 1.5°c or face an environmental catastrophe – with the news that we are currently on course to witness a 3°c rise.

What do the report’s findings mean for the public transport sector?

And what role does mobility and multimodality play in changing the future?

The IPCC report states that pathways which can limit global warming to 1.5°C, with no or limited overshoot, can be found. This would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure - including transport.

The IPCC report also finds that by moving passengers to more efficient modes of travel, in greater numbers, will help to increase the reduction in emissions within the transport sector.

UITP welcomes the encouragement of a modal shift to fight climate change.

“UITP will continue to work with our members, sectoral colleagues and all interested parties to advocate for sustainable mobility. Public transport needs three to four times less energy (per passenger) than individual cars and moves people in greater numbers. Thus, we can reduce emissions and fight climate change together. UITP looks ahead to COP24 to work with our partners in making the case for the role of public transport in climate action”, said Mohamed Mezghani, UITP Secretary General.

New research from C40 Cities, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and the New Climate Institute shows that climate action, found that improving public transport could prevent the premature deaths of nearly one million people per year from air pollution and traffic fatalities worldwide.

Transport accounted for 28% of global-final energy demand and 23% of global energy-related CO₂ emissions in 2014. Emissions increased by 2.5% annually between 2010 and 2015, and over the past 50 years the sector has witnessed faster emissions growth than any other.

Cities are fundamental in the fight against climate change. Urban transport actually accounts for roughly 40% of emissions from the entire transport sector.

These statistics show that urban mobility lies at the heart of the fight against climate change and the transition to a resource efficient and low carbon urban economy. Shifting transport to more sustainable modes is vitally important.

This shows the role UITP can and does play in the fight against climate change.

UITP advocates for public transport and sustainable mobility during the transportation thematic events at COP23 (Bonn, November 2017) by signing a partnership agreement with the UNFCCC and our sectoral partners. We will continue to advocate for change during COP24 by re-entering in to another partnership (Katowice, December 2018).

UITP recognises that more needs to be done to fight against climate change and the role public transport and sustainable mobility plays in this action is vital.

Read the UITP Sustainability Charter here and the signatories to the charter here.

See UITP’s commitment to climate action in full on our dedicated page.


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