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What does it mean to make the case for sustainable urban mobility at the biggest global gathering to determine the future of our planet?
When the world descended upon COP26 (31 October-14 November) to make the important decisions necessary in the ongoing fight against climate change, UITP was there alongside them.
We know that public transport is not as high up the agenda of decision makers as it should be: therefore our presence and participation in Glasgow was even more vital.
Our time on the ground in Scotland involved an agenda full of meetings, events, appearances and interviews, where in every gathering we advocated for more public transport, more of the time.
Alongside our members, external stakeholders and partners we pushed for public transport to move further up the agenda by conveying our messages throughout COP26, in person and through our large digital outreach.
In the lead-up to, and during Glasgow, UITP joined forces with several external partners to make the case for our sector.
We collaborated with REN21 on a new Policy Brief, alongside ETF on a Joint Statement, and partnered with UIC on Transport Day to call for public transport to lead the way on decarbonisation.
Led by our Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani*, the UITP COP delegation made our case through participation in events, panels, bilateral meetings and press interviews, and meetings with ministers, mayors, leaders of the supplying industry, representatives of international organisations and peers from other professional associations.
Whether on the COP campus with our members and the media, or alongside the World Health Organisation, or even aboard the HydroFLEX train, we offered solutions to the ongoing crisis.
We also attended the Transport Ministerial, which was organised for the first time within the COP activities.
There’s much to be said on the important role of public transport for better and healthier urban living.
Public transport is about people, and it will be a people-focused future that helps our planet. That requires more attention from decision makers.
As 70% of transport emissions take place in urban areas, it’s extremely important for UITP, on behalf of the global public transport sector, to show how our industry offers many solutions to help mitigate climate change. Our time in Glasgow was very well spent, and those in decision-making roles must increase their focus on public transport. I remain optimistic that we can deliver this change to provide a better future for everyone.
This was no ordinary COP, for many reasons: it took place at a crossroads for our planet, held during an ongoing global pandemic.
Our active schedule, advocacy and outreach, was all the more impressive due the necessary Covid-19 restrictions, making COP26 a unique climate gathering.
As the world struggles with increasing temperatures, rising emissions, and the need to address climate change, UITP knows our sector can play a major role for our future.
As of now, only around 30% of national climate action plans include public transport.
Public transport is a major solution to the climate crisis – therefore it should appear in all of them. The final COP26 climate agreement reached involves important targets for the world. It should include more focus on sustainable active mobility.
UITP leaves Glasgow full of optimism for our sector and the people who make it what it is.
We have a determination to continue putting more focus on climate action with public transport.
The future direction of our planet depends on it #COP26 #TogetherForOurPlanet
Concluding COP26: our official press release
Missed any of our activities? See our three-day thread of actions!
Mohamed Mezghani departs COP26 by rail – read his concluding thoughts!
*acting on behalf of Mohamed Mezghani SARL