Efforts to revolutionise transport around the world are gaining momentum.
More governments and businesses are exploring possibilities for electric vehicles and low-carbon emissions transport systems, said transport experts attending the UN’s Climate Change Conference in Marrakech (COP 22).
“The transport sector is very uniquely positioned to deliver both on decarbonisation as well as on human well-being. Countries are stepping up to it,” said Paula Caballero, global director, Climate Program of the World Resources Institute.
She said the New Urban Agenda adopted at Habitat III, the UN’s Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016, “very clearly encapsulates that”.
“Habitat III was just one month ago and clearly the transformation that is needed in the urban sector, that is needed in our cities, can be driven by transport.
“It is about ensuring that there is infrastructure for cycling and much better public sector transportation.”
Transport counts for 24 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Without disruptive action, transport emissions can be expected to grow from 7.7 gigatons to around 15 gigatons by 2050.
For 45 percent of countries, transport was the largest source of energy-related emissions. Over the last 12 months, the MobiliseYourCity initiative secured 35 million euros in funding and announced the start of developing Sustainable Urban Mobility plans in Morocco and Cameroon.
The Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) is supporting an additional 40 countries to realise the financial and CO2 benefits of improved vehicle fuel economy.
And Airport Carbon Accreditation Scheme now has 173 certified airports worldwide, including 26 carbon neutral airports.
The Partnership for Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) launched a global road map for decarbonisation of the transport sector at COP 22.
SLoCaT is a partnership between international organisations, the business sector and NGOs seeking to promote sustainable transport and focusing on land transport in developing countries.
“We are fully on board as the transport sector. We think we are increasingly well organised, we think we have increasing political support and that we have the right ideas,” said the secretary-general of SLoCaT, Cornie Huizenga.
Morrocan minister in charge of the environment and “climate champion” Hakima El Haité said: “Transport can be revolutionary tomorrow. We’ll have solar roads and maybe we’ll have solar vehicles.
“The transport initiatives, by creating a new reality on the ground, increase understanding and support for climate action, which, in turn, drives up governments’ ambition to tackle climate change.”