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The UK COP26 Presidency has selected transport as today’s priority theme with “speed up the switch to electric vehicles” as their goal, putting electric cars centre stage as the way to align the future of the land transport sector with the Paris Agreement.
Climate change cannot be stopped without decarbonising transport.
UITP and UIC, the International Union of Railways, have joined forces to issue a Statement in response to the UK COP Presidency on the official Transport Day.
We know that transport emits around 23% of the energy-related CO2 that feeds global warming.
Without immediate action, transport’s share of emissions could reach 40% by 2030. Transport emissions have grown faster than those of any other sector – with one mode of transport driving that unsustainable growth in road transport emissions more than any other.
We cannot wait until 2050.
Action needs to be taken now to ensure that the necessary changes to mobility are made this decade. Solutions already at hand can halt the rising emissions from transport this decade, but these are too low down on the agenda at the COP26.
Public transport is already part of the solution, but it features in only around 30 percent of the countries national plans, it must be in all of them…it is important that UIC and UITP join forces and convey this important message at COP26 this week.”
We need to rebalance the debate on mobility solutions, especially in our cities.
By focusing only on switching to electric cars, there is a real risk that our roads will remain unsafe and congested, with persistent particulate air pollution issues.
Cities are better when people can move around them, not when they are stuck behind a steering wheel.
Today for COP 26, time is the issue, we have ten years to halt and reverse the rising emissions from transport. Rail combined with public transport, cycling and walking has the capability to be the essential ingredient for a net zero carbon transport system.
Transport Day comes against the backdrop of last week’s commitment from world leaders to a clear shift from ambition to immediate action, which is why UIC and UITP are sending a clear message to COP26:
Let’s move people, not cars, for the benefit of people and the planet.
If we really want to make transport faster, cheaper, and easier for all, let’s first provide people with more and better rail and public transport.
*acting on behalf of Mohamed Mezghani SARL