Information published on 2 November 2010 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 208.

Promoting the rail sector at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 16)

  • Sustainable development

Soon after the Train to Copenhagen communications campaign, jointly organised by UNEP, WWF and UIC, UIC launched the follow-up strategy for this successful project. One element of the strategy was to participate at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2010, COP 16, which will take place in Cancun, Mexico, from the 30th of November to the 10th of December.

Even though the final outcome of the COP 15 did not at all live up to its high expectations of delivering the successor of the Kyoto Protocol, UIC and its partners succeeded in attracting attention to rail as a part of the solution for the climate change combat the weeks and days before the conference in Copenhagen. The Train to Copenhagen-project demonstrated that it is important to be actively present at the United Nations Climate Change Conference to deliver the message on the low carbon performance of rail.

The emissions reductions targets lined out by the Kyoto Protocol will expire in 2012, and the pressure is high on the climate negotiations led by the United Nations. The next generation global climate agreement is now expected at COP 17 which will take place at the end of 2011. At COP 16 the focus will be to rebuild trust into the COP process - the trust between parties of the conference, the observers, the media and society in general. This situation also means that the COP process is open for input, which makes it even more important to be present in order to influencing the future climate regime and its supporting policies and mechanisms in favour of low carbon transport solutions such as rail.

UIC will be present at COP 16 to deliver the messages of the rail sector, as well as strengthen its ties to United Nations and other institutions and organisations. The UIC contribution for COP 16 will carry on building on what has been achieved for the rail sector at COP 15 and the years before.

The UIC presence at COP 16 will be in close cooperation with UNEP and a joint exhibition stand at the official COP 16 venue. Further on, UIC will organise an official COP 16 side event together with UNEP and the Japan based research institute, Institution for Transport Policies (ITPS).

UIC has also been invited to speak at the World Business Climate Summit, the climate change conference focusing on the business aspects that will take place in Cancun during COP 16.

The UIC contribution will include promotion of the UIC Declaration Sustainable mobility & Transport, the UIC project Adopting Rail InfraStructure to Climate Changes (ARISCC), EcoTransIT and EcoPassenger. An updated version of the Global Rail Position Paper on Climate Change will provide an overview of the emissions reductions potential and commitment from the railways.

The UIC contribution to COP 16 will also contribute to as preparations to the UIC contribution to the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD 19) that will take place in May in 2011.

For more information please contact Margrethe Sagevik, UIC Senoir Adviser Sustainable Development: sagevik@uic.org and Delphine Margot, UIC Communications Advisor: margot@uic.org