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As the world recognises the one-year mark of the coronavirus pandemic, Covid-19 has completely changed our way of life.
As national vaccination strategies are being rolled out in many cities and countries across the globe, attention has turned to what life may look like in a post-pandemic world.
What we know for sure is that the impending recovery task is a daunting challenge, and we must invest in different ways than has been done in the past.
As we lay the path out of this crisis, we can look ahead to cleaner, greener cities and a public transport for all. Now, alongside EuroCities, UITP is En Route to COP26 with our Greener Ambitions to Rebuild Trust in Public Transport webinar.
Throughout the pandemic, the ongoing climate crisis has remained, and we need to measure our recovery through the lens of climate change, which remains the existential threat facing the planet.
We must bring all relevant stakeholders to the table to set out our climate plans for the year as we seek to rebuild our cities and connections with each other…and clean, green, and efficient public transport remains one of the smartest investments we can make.
If we are to limit global temperature rise in line with our commitments to the Paris Agreement, we must cut emissions in the urban transport sector and invest in cleaner, more efficient public transport that works with the natural world, alongside walking and cycling.
It is a big part of solving the climate puzzle.
Led from the UITP and EuroCities side by our Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani* and Secretary General of EuroCities Anna Lisa Boni, our expert roundtable will welcome Dolores Ortiz, Director General of Planning and Mobility Infrastructures at Madrid City Council, Katja Suhonen, Public Transport Manager for the City of Lahti and Paul White, Director of Government Relations Europe for the Confederation of Passenger Transport Scotland.
The webinar will be moderated by Dorthe Nielsen, Executive Director of EuroCities.
What is clear is that we cannot look to a better future for our urban citizens without affordable, clean, and green transport.
And the good news is that these are investments that make huge economic sense.
We know that investing in public transport connects all people and communities to economic and social opportunities, but also create millions of decent, sustainable jobs and significantly cuts emissions from the transport sector in cities in line with the Paris Agreement.
Public transport is key to a green recovery as it delivers more in terms of job creation and economic development. Today’s challenges will not be met without a clear priority given to public transport as a vital pillar for economic, social and environmental recovery, both in the short and long-term. Public transport also raises the level of climate ambition and is the fastest and most cost-efficient way to decarbonise people’s daily mobility. Unleashing the full benefits of public transport and decarbonisation will be key to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The pandemic presents the unique opportunity to build our cities back more sustainably and rebuild trust back into public transport with the goal of tackling these bigger challenges from the get-go, especially in the build up to COP 26 this November in Glasgow.
Through our advocacy and outreach work, our participation in the transportation thematic days at COP, our collaborations and partnerships with external stakeholders and our communication campaigns to engage our membership…we have worked extensively to make sure that public transport plays its part in making our cities healthier.
But there is always more to be done.
We know that you cannot successfully fight climate change, or reach national targets, without addressing local emissions at the same time. Tackling air pollution and climate change needs a serious plan and to ensure a modal shift to public transport and sustainable urban mobility modes, we must have serious conversations.
The climate crisis remains as serious as before and we know that public transport must be part of the conversation at every stage.
You can join us En Route to COP26 where a detailed panel discussion and an audience Q&A session will help to layout our visions and ideas in the lead-up to this year’s climate gathering.
*Acting on behalf of Mohamed Mezghani SARL