Climate Summit Puts Transport on Road to 2o Degree Scenario
Climate Summit Commitments on electric vehicles, rail and public transport to reduce the carbon footprint of at least half of all the passenger and freight trips made by 2025
New York, 23 September
“Without transport contributing in a significant manner to the mitigation of climate change it will not be possible to shift to a global stabilization pathway that can keep warming below 2 Degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels” is one of the key messages of a joint report by the Bridging the Gap Initiative and the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), released on the eve of the Climate Summit organized by Secretary Ban Ki-moon to accelerate action on climate change.
The paper concludes that “a combination of technological and behavioural measures could decrease final-energy demand in 2050 for urban passenger transport by at least 55% below an IEA defined baseline of a 4o Celsius temperature increase scenario”.
Members of the SLoCaT Partnership led four out of the five commitments on transport made at the Secretary General’s Climate Summit. Under the Transport Action Area of the Climate Summit a commitment on urban electric mobility is led by UN Habitat, theInternational Railway Association (UIC) leads the railways commitment, and theInternational Association of Public Transport (UITP) leads the public transport commitment. The Global Fuel Economy Initiative leads a commitmentto improve fuel economy under the Energy Action Area, andthe Climate and Clean Air Coalition leads a Green Freight Commitment under the Industry Action Area of the Summit.
“The transport related commitments made at the Summit, could be a turning point for the inclusion of the transport sector in climate change policy discussions in the UNFCCC”, says Cornie Huizenga, Secretary General of the SLoCaT Partnership. “These initiatives are taken by key segments of the transport sector itself. This in combination with their transformational impact justifies a much larger role for transport in discussions on a new global climate agreement”.
The potential significance of the transport commitments as a game changer is well illustrated by the announcement by Pierre Mongin, CEO of RATP Group, the public transport company for the greater Paris region, to transform by 2025 its complete bus fleet to Zero CO2 emissions, Zeroparticulate emissionsand Zero noise. It is a part of the UITP commitment for the fight against climate change.
Analysis presented in the report concludes that while absolute reductions are required in GHG emissions from land transport in the developed OECD economies that relative reductions in the non-OECD countries would allow for a limited growth in absolute emissions in non-OECD countries. This will allow these countries to expand their transport sector in support of poverty alleviation, economic growth and social development.
Press Release: Embargoed for Release till 23 September 11.30 AM New York Time
A study by the University of California, Davis and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, both members of Bridging the Gap and SLoCaT concluded that a shift towards low-carbon mobility could potentially result in a 40% reduction of urban passenger transport related emissions by 2050, compared to current trendsand lead to savings of over$100 trillion in public and private spending on transportation related expenses. This does not yet factor in the economic impacts of co-benefits related to safety, air quality, reduced congestion and energy security.
The Bridging the Gap and SLoCaT paper calls for comprehensive strategies to mitigate climate change in the land transport sector that combine measures to avoid the need for individualized motorized trips with measures to shift passenger and freight transport to the most effective mode, while improving the energy efficiency of fuels and vehicles.
“We are encouraged to see a growing interest in the UNFCCC in sector wide policies and approaches in new instruments and mechanisms such as the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions and the Nationally Appropriate Mitigations Actions” says Heather Allen, Programme Director Sustainable Transport in Transport Research Laboratory, UK and coordinator of the Bridging the Gap Initiative. “It is a promising sign as well that low-emission transport has been selected as one of four key programs in the new Green Climate Fund” says Oliver Lah, Project Coordinator at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy.
The paper calls for greater attention to the financing of low-carbon transport and suggests that the ambitious GHG reductions required in transport can only be achieved through using Climate Finance to leverage investments from the public and private sector.
The Bridging the Gap Initiative and the SLoCaT Partnership also announced “Transport Tackles Climate Change” as the theme for Transport Day 2014, which will be held on December 7th in Lima, Peru in conjunction with the 20th Conference of Parties of the United Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The Bridging the Gap initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership formed in 2009 to encourage international recognition of the role of land transport in addressing climate change in the Post 2012 agreement. The partners come from the public, private, research and NGO sectors and work together at bridging the gap’ between the sustainable transport community and the climate change negotiationsprocess. www.transport2020.org
The SLoCaT Partnership is a multi-stakeholder initiative established in 2009. It has over 80 members representing UN organizations, Multi Lateral and bi-lateral development organizations, civil society, academe and the business sector. SLoCaT promotes the better integration of sustainable, low carbon transport in global policies on sustainable development and climate change www.slocat.net
The Report: “Land transport’s contribution to a 2°C target” can be accessed at www.transport2020.org or at www.slocat.net/transporttwodegree
Documentation on the Transport Commitments at the Climate Summit is available at:
Information on Transport Day 2014 can be found at www.transportday.org
For more information contact:
Bridging the Gap Initiative: Heather Allen (firstname.lastname@example.org)+447827890820
Enriquez Romano +17185032034
Send an email to Cornie Huizenga, Secretary General of the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport of Slocat