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The world has descended upon Glasgow as global decision makers gather together to work towards changing the future direction of our planet.
COP26 has officially launched (31October-12 November), bringing all stakeholders around the table to set new targets on emissions, decarbonisation and the future steps needed to tackle climate change.
At UITP, we know what it means to advocate for the necessary cause of public transport.
Alongside our international membership, we do this knowing that our sector is a vital component to delivering on climate action.
More public transport means healthier cities with cleaner air, less congestion and more liveable urban space for all of us.
We will be promoting this message and more when we once again participate at COP as an official UNFCCC observer.
From this weekend, until the closing days, UITP will be hosting, participating and engaging in numerous meetings, side and fringe events, transportation thematic panels and meeting with decision makers, the media and all external stakeholders to make the case for placing public transport at the heart of the climate agenda.
The international gathering of world leaders, decision makers and stakeholders at COP26 in Glasgow comes at a crucial time for our planet and tough, necessary decisions must be made. As a major solution to helping make our cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable for all, public transport must be at the heart of these discussions as we look towards a post-pandemic world.
Beginning in 1995 with COP1, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) organises the formal meeting of all relevant parties for the annual COP – the Conference of the Parties.
UITP has played an active role for many years now, with our presence increasing in the last decade. Agendas are hectic at all COPs, and fighting for as a cause as important as our planet is never easy.
But throughout the coronavirus 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.
In 2019, before the most recent COP in Madrid, Spain, UITP launched our One Planet, One Plan campaign to show that decision makers need to take seriously the role of public transport in their climate action agendas.
Through this focus, we have continued to build on our external relations by advocating alongside our members, and joining forces with several industry stakeholders to push for more political attention.
For COP26, we have accelerated this approach and UITP is seen as a leading voice for public transport during the climate talks.
But talking is not enough. Our words are written, and now they must be heard in Glasgow.
Among our activities will be a special fireside chat on board the HydroFLEX hydrogen Train at Glasgow Central Station with UIC, Network Rail, Alstom, SPT, ATM Milan and more.
Our Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani* will also be participating in the Transport Ministerial on the 9th as among the only non-ministerial and non-intergovernmental organisations to be invited.
And the official COP26 Transport Day on the 10th will be a calendar highlight for UITP with major involvement across all activities.
Before COP26 began, UITP played a major role in the 2nd United Nations Sustainable Transport Conference held in Beijing, China, from side events with UCLG and UN-Habitat to moderating the session on sustainable transport and sustainable cities.
Leading up to Glasgow, we have collaborated alongsideETF, the European social partners, in issuing a new joint statement to call on the European Institutions and Member States to place public transport at the heart of their political agenda.
We will also be collaborating with Ren21, the global renewable energy community on a new Policy Paper during COP26 and advocating alongside C40, the Cities Climate Leadership Group and ITF, the International Transport Workers’ Federation to commit to improving and increasing access to our public transport systems.
UITP has joined two new projects funded by the European Commission, NetZeroCities and PIONEERS, with the same goal to drastically cut our carbon footprint before it is too late. And with COP26 upon us, united actions against climate change are needed now more than ever.
You can stay engaged with our activities in Glasgow by following our news articles, blogs, press outreach and social media channels. See you in Glasgow for #COP26!
*Acting on behalf of Mohamed Mezghani SARL