Sustainable development has always been one of the main priorities of UITP. It is intrinsically embedded in the core values of our association and the public transport sector we are advancing.
As today we celebrate Earth Day, it is worth looking back at how we have been active in concretely helping fight climate change on the international stage. A fight we are still leading with our members and partners.
According to a recent study of the World Bank, in which UITP took part, the transport sector contributes 23 percent of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and 18 percent of all man-made emissions in the global economy. Public transport, being a sustainable sector by default, can help curb the increase of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. This is the message that UITP has been conveying, notably by taking an active part in the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP), the most notorious of these being COP21, during which the Paris Agreement was officially established in 2015.
A year later, during COP22, world leaders adopted the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, a set of actions guided by the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and undertaken in the context of the 2030 Agenda (Sustainable Development goals). Among these actions, a select group of organisation created the Climate Action Collaboration Forum. UITP is a proud actors of this Forum, which aims to ‘determine the priority areas of work to complement existing work of the Marrakech Partnership’ and thus ultimately to drive progress to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We are working closely with our members and partners to help reach these SDGs. It requires research and understanding on such topics as: public health, gender equality, innovation, sustainable cities, climate action and life on land. We will also be reporting on some parts of these topics throughout this year and we will particularly communicate on the actions and ideas we promote to help identify how national and local climate strategies can be more ambitious to build a more sustainable future, as part of the Talanoa Dialogue.
The Talanoa Dialogue Platform is an inclusive process during which parties and non-parties stakeholders involved at the COP are invited to ‘share stories, build empathy and to make wise decisions for the collective good’. The outcomes of these discussions will feed into a written consultation in October and at the end of the year at COP24.
So far only 7 non-United Nations events have been recognised globally on the Talanoa Platform, and the next UITP Sustainable Development Commission meeting, which will be held on 26 and 27 April 2018 in Dakar Senegal, is one of them. The meeting which will be in the in the spirit of Talanoa, will support the goal of helping implement and increase ambition in NDCs and double the market share of public transport – a key commitment to action under the UITP Declaration.
UITP has always been a champion for a cleaner earth, thanks to our or Sustainable Development Commission which has been leading our efforts on climate change. On this Earth Day, we would like to remind our members, partners, but also decision makers and urban dwellers, that we are more than ever committed in bringing concrete actions to promote sustainable urban transport and cleaner mobility solutions to fight climate change. The discussion in Dakar next week, will be another stop on our journey to a more sustainable earth.