UN seeks to mobilize sustainable transport systems, enterprises see opportunities

02 November 2016 | Mitigation

The United Nations is seeking to transform the world's transport sector to promote economic growth and combat climate change, and enterprises see opportunities to benefit from the trend and meanwhile contribute to world development.

A report submitted by a high-level advisory group to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sustainable Transport finds that the transformational change of sustainable transport needs annual investments of 2 trillion U.S. dollars, and related efforts will deliver savings up to 70 trillion dollars by 2050.

The report, entitled Mobilizing Sustainable Transport for Development, also finds that a more sustainable transport system with integrated port terminals, well-planned airports and regulations for efficient border crossings could produce a global GDP increase by 2.6 trillion dollars.

Martin Lundstedt, co-chair of the advisory group, told Xinhua in a recent interview that GDP growth is closely linked to logistical solutions. "When you have such a drive, obviously, there will be opportunities for companies but also for countries to make progress and to drive prosperity."

He said the idea of sustainable transport systems that focus on the mobility of people and goods must come in a way that is environmentally, socially and economically viable.

When it comes to road transport, Lundstedt said it requires innovation on new technologies such as electric mobility, automation, energy efficiency solutions.

According to the report, sustainable transport can realize fuel savings, lower operational costs, decreased congestion and reduced air pollution, and meanwhile create jobs, contribute to poverty reduction, and most importantly combat climate change.

UN statistics show that at present, the transport sector is responsible for approximately 23 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, and 3.5 million premature deaths result from outdoor air pollution annually.

Nancy Young, vice president of Airlines for America- an American air transport trade association, told Xinhua that there are bio-fuel flights for commercial airlines in the aviation industry today around the world, and bio-fuels can gradually bring progress to the industry in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

As another member of the advisory group, Young said for the private sector, the vision of sustainability is critical for companies because they need to be able to work on economic, social and environmental advancement to have real economic success and meanwhile protect the environment.

She also noted a global carbon offsetting scheme that has adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization to curb emissions from the aviation industry, saying the industry needs the market-based measure "to serve as a gap filler" although it does pose a cost related to carbon emissions.

In 2014, Ban appointed members of the advisory group to provide recommendations on sustainable transport actionable at global, national, local and sector levels.

Two years later, the group has recommended that the international community shall promote transport technologies, increase global climate funding, and make transport planning, policy and investment decisions with consideration to economic, social and environmental factors.

It also called on the public sector as well as private companies to cooperate and invest in global transport system to achieve sustainable development, according to the report.



Source: New China