Industry welcomes UN High-level Advisory Group’s sustainable transport report

31 October 2016  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport

The United Nations High-Level Advisory Group has issued a number of recommendations in a new report entitled Mobilizing Sustainable Transport for Development.

Industry welcomes UN High-level Advisory Group’s sustainable transport report

The UITP (the International Association of Public Transport) and International Union of Railways (UIC)  have welcomed findings of a Global Sustainable Transport Outlook report published on 28 October 2016 by the UN High-Level Advisory Group. The report recommends that greener; more efficient and sustainable transport can save trillions and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainable transport report suggests transport systems are held back by inefficiencies and lack of investment

The Advisory Group found that national and local transport systems are held back by inefficiencies and a lack of sustainable investment. As a result it has put forward 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.

Sustainable transport can be achieved through current ‘business as usual’

The report also 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.

The High-level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport was created by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in August 2014 to provide recommendations on sustainable transport actionable at global, national, local and sector levels. The Advisory Group works with Governments, transport providers (aviation, marine, ferry, rail, road, and urban public transport), businesses, financial institutions, civil society and other stakeholders to promote sustainable transport systems and their integration into development strategies and policies, including in climate action.

During presentation of the report, 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.”

Additional recommendations include:

  • 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

“Transport can build prosperity in the broadest sense, enhancing the quality of life for all while protecting the environment and fighting climate change,” said Martin Lundstedt, CEO of Volvo and co-chair of the High-Level Group. “We need bold innovation and a true partnership among governments, civil society and the private sector.”

Commenting on the publication, UIC Director General, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux said: “The United Nations now has a committed, international and multi-disciplinary team that is aware that infrastructure and the complementarity between the different modes of transport – each bringing maximum added value and based on intelligent interfacing – are the key to sustainable mobility, in order to address the challenges of the 21st century, and encourage more harmonised socio-economic development through trade in cities, countries and regions.”        

Mobilizing Sustainable Transport for Development report can be downloaded here.

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