On Tuesday, 1 May 2018 from 16:45-18:15 at the World Conference Centre in Bonn, UIC, the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and the Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) co-hosted a side-event in the frame of the UN Climate Change Conference.
The event highlighted how the Global Climate Action (GCA) - transport initiatives, are delivering action on the ground and developing strategies that will help scale up national ambition which can help trigger widespread action to decarbonise land transport. Speakers included representatives from transport initiatives and leading international organisations involved in low carbon transport responsible for implementing activities in the transport sector.
The event was moderated by Urda Eichhorst, Advisor Transport and Climate Change at the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). Ms Eichhorst reviewed the context of the transport climate policy as an introduction. She reiterated that the minus 2°C scenario requires large emission reductions from transport. In 2015, transport emitted 24.7% of energy-related emission or 18% of total man-made emissions. Ms Eichhorst emphasised that to achieve the Paris Agreement goal (1.5 C° degree scenario), transport greenhouse gases emissions must be reduced to around 2 gigatonnes by 2050 (SLoCaT analysis).
Following the introduction, it was an honour to give the floor to Tomasz Chruszczow, Special Envoy For Climate Change and High Level Champion. Mr Chruszczow provided his thoughts on the Marrakech partnership. Mr Chruszczow acknowledged the organisation of such a side event by key stakeholders of the Marrakech Partnership, representing the transport sector. “Their value will be invaluable” to the discussions said the Climate Envoy. He emphasised the increased environmental impact of transport and the urge for change, for immediate actions and to support the overachievements of National Determined Contributions. Mr Chruszczow added that transport will help to transform cities, to transform our habits and how we plan our lives. Under the Marrakech Partnership, transport can establish links, promote solutions and reach out to governments to convince them to start acting immediately. And the Talanoa Dialogue is a way to tell the stories and inspire many other stakeholders.
Mark Major, Senior Advisor at the Sustainable Low Carbon Transport Partnership presented the Global Climate Action Agenda on transport. Conclusions were that it is important to overarching priorities for transport related initiatives to strengthen their impact on the ground impact and give them greater access to policy makers and predictable, short-, and medium-term funding. Moreover, to make “global” climate action truly global – Parties need to take action to facilitate expansion of the Marrakech Partnership for Global. Climate Action transport initiatives to key low and middle income countries. Parties also need to take advantage of the knowledge, experience and resources available through the transport Initiatives on decarbonisation and adaptation. The practical experience, knowledge and tools of the transport initiatives can make a major contribution to reducing the cost and accelerating transport emissions reduction and strengthening resilience.
Mark Major also presented UITP commitments on their behalf. UITP launched the declaration on climate leadership. The declaration consists in several key points: double the market share of public transport by 2025, commitment to support cities and governments by building capacity and commitment to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. There are currently 350 climate projects pledged in 80 cities. For examples, Munich’s bike sharing scheme opened in November 2016. Up to 1,000 bikes are registered each day and contributes to a reduction of 308 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Carole Escolan-Zeno, Head of the Sustainability Unit at UIC gave a presentation focusing on sustainable railway passenger transport. Rail is the most energy efficient passenger transport mode per kilometre and requires less than 1/10th of energy needed to move an individual by car or by airplane. Despite accounting for 9% of the global passenger activity (per km) in 2015, it only represents 1% of the final energy demand in passenger transport. We note that in 2015, around 75% of the passenger rail activity in the world took place in Asia, a key geographical zone for the rail industry. Mrs Escolan-Zeno added that UIC Members work together towards making railway the backbone of sustainable transport and to develop rail transport to meet the needs of sustainable mobility.
Sander Chan, Senior Researcher at the German Development Institute offered a demonstration based on the Talanoa Dialogue questions: where are we, where do we want to go, and, how do we get there? The presentation focused on how maximising the impact of Global Climate Action for transport in the climate process. Mr Chan stressed the importance of transforming transport and how we are at a critical juncture now especially in developing countries where demand is increasing and that we need to mobilise in countries where action should take place and not just have North based initiatives and partnerships. One other topic advanced by Mr Chan was that transformation is required as well in behaviours and consumption.
The event concluded with a collective understanding of the importance of bringing together all modes of transport as well as other sectors and making sure that the Paris agreement recognises the role of non-state actors and that providing solutions for a quicker and easier sustainable transport solutions is needed. In the words of Mr Chan, we need to figure out how to bring the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action home
UIC would like to thank the co-hosts of the event, SLoCaT and UITP, as well as the active participation of GIZ, the German Development Institute and the High Level Champion and its team. This event was a notable example of how the transport sector actors work together for a more sustainable future.
Please watch the side event online in replay at this link: https://bit.ly/2r9xiBj