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The central role of public transport during the climate action talks: UITP and UIC issue joint response

31/05/2021
  • Climate
  • Emissions
  • Environment
  • Urban mobility
  • Urban transport policy

The programme of climate talks are about to begin…

During the past year, we have learnt that in a serious international crisis how essential public transport is to society…and what a pivotal part rail plays in this.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, people have been able to continue relying on their local public transport services to access healthcare, jobs, education and visit relatives. Service levels were maintained as much as possible and helped get essential workers to their jobs.

We also know that public transport plays a vital role in the discussion on climate action – and this serious issue has not gone away during COVID-19.

The conversations on clean air and healthier cities continue, and public transport’s role as a solution to this must remain visible.

UITP is proud of the work we have carried out on climate change with our sustainable development activities, representation at climate talks, related publications and our #ONEPLANet climate campaign aimed towards decision makers.

The importance of collaboration for delivering change…

Now, as the UN Climate Change Bureau commences a three-week programme of talks with negotiators in preparation for COP26 in Glasgow (1-12 November 2021), UITP and UIC, the Worldwide Railway Organisation are teaming up to continue making the case for the role of public transport within the climate discussions.

These new climate talks will lay the groundwork for the congress in November, but to what extent will the role of public transport be discussed during these important days and weeks ahead?

Both UITP and UIC are collaborating with their respective members to build a multi-solution mix through their expertise on innovation in integrated ticketing and digital tools to support modal shift as well as concrete improvement in sustainability and decarbonisation challenges specifically.

Rail and public transport are essential to keeping society moving, key to a green and just recovery, and will raise the level of climate ambition.

This is widely seen as the decade to act, and to act with urgency.

Public transport is a vital component to the conversation on climate action.

In the lead-up to COP26 in November, UITP and UIC will continue to work together in making the case for climate action with public transport.

Both associations agree that public transport must feature within the programme of talks during the next three weeks and during the congress as a vital pillar to delivering healthier cities and cleaner air.

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