The United Nations High-Level Advisory Group, of which UITP is a member, recommends in a new report that greener, more efficient and sustainable transport can save trillions and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Greater investment in greener, more sustainable transport systems is essential for propelling the economic and social development that is vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, according to an expert panel report delivered to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Friday.
Finding that global, national and local transport systems are held back by inefficiencies and a lack of sustainable investment, the panel’s report provides ten recommendations on how governments, businesses and civil society should re-direct resources in the transport sector to advance sustainable development. The report recognises the avoid-shift-improve approach as a useful framework for taking action on sustainable transport, which public transport forms the foundation of.
Investment in sustainable transport could lead to savings of up to US$70 trillion by 2050
The experts, including representatives from public transport, automotive, aviation, rail and maritime industries, found that a transformational change to sustainable transport can be achieved through current ‘business as usual’. The report shows that there is a global consensus on what needs to be achieved: moving away from individual motorised transport to providing access through a combination of multi-modal, collective shared mobility solutions and sustainable transport systems, notably through expanding public transport.
Investment in sustainable transport, the experts found, could lead to fuel savings and lower operational costs, decreased congestion, reduced air pollution and savings of up to US$70 trillion by 2050.
Group photo of the UN Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) in a meeting to launch the Global Sustainable Transport Report. UITP Secretary General Alain Flausch (third from right) is part of this Advisory Group. Photo: United Nations, New York
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that sustainable transport was essential to efforts to fight climate change, reduce air pollution and improve road safety: “Sustainable transport supports inclusive growth, job creation, poverty reduction, access to markets, the empowerment of women, and the well-being of persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.”
The panel’s recommendations highlight:
- The importance of an integrated approach to policy, investments and institutional strengthening and the benefits of engaging a wide range of stakeholders and funding sources
- The promotion of sustainable transport technologies, cleaner fuels and the increase of international development funding.
- The need to put particular weight on the needs, challenges and opportunities in developing countries