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Date

25 Sep 2009

Sections

Transport

On the road to Copenhagen: UITP joins forces with the United Nations and other leading international organizations in a new Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport Partnership

In preparation for the upcoming Post-2012 International Climate Change Agreement, the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) became a founding member of the Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport Partnership, which was launched in Bangkok, Thailand today. The partnership is a collaboration between developed and developing countries, and consists of over 30 major experts from international agencies covering policy, funding and transport. It will be hosted by the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs.

“A few weeks ahead of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, it is imperative that we beat the drum for public transport as a sustainable solution, and joining this high profile partnership is our contribution to this” said Hans Rat, Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP). “Our sector strategy, aimed at doubling the public transport market share by 2025, is a genuine call for action, among other things, to support the world’s ambition of combating climate change. The UITP Commission on Sustainable Development being part of the Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport Partnership is key to making the voice of public transport heard. Indeed, even the United Nations admits that efforts to combat climate change will fail unless action is taken to limit harmful emissions from the transport sector”.

The partnership, which includes, amongst others, the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter American Development Bank and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), will push for a global climate treaty which will help control the growth of transport greenhouse gas emissions while also supporting the development of sustainable transport systems worldwide.

The partnership’s goals are both timely and necessary, coming as they do shortly after the United Nations Secretary General’s recent Climate Summit in New York, which fostered momentum, and right before all stakeholders will be pushing hard for a fair and effective climate deal in Copenhagen this December.

“The agreement to be reached in Copenhagen must lead to a paradigm shift in the transport sector towards far more sustainable ways of getting from one place to another. This new partnership has a key role to play in for example explaining to policy makers how precisely their economies can benefit from embracing green transport technologies," said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. “Business as usual is not an option if we want to reverse current trends and prevent catastrophic climate change,” he added.

Transport-related carbon dioxide emissions are expected to increase by 57% worldwide in the period 2005-2030, with the transport sectors of developing countries - particularly in Asia and Latin America - contributing about 80% of this increase. While the developed countries bear responsibility for cleaning up their transport systems, transport in developing countries is growing rapidly. Urgent measures are needed to ensure that this growth is sustainable and proceeds on a low carbon growth scale.

“I welcome the approach of the Partnership to focus both on reducing greenhouse gases and improving the overall sustainability of transport in developing countries,” said Rajendra Pachauri, the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “This means that the Partnership will not only be a force for a better climate but also for a better life for people in developing countries.”

In addition to participating in international climate change negotiations, the partnership will also be featured in upcoming sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Its establishment follows the May 2009 Bellagio Declaration on Transportation and Climate Change, which called for overhauling transport systems with more sustainable, low carbon solutions and approaches.

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Note to Editors

UITP (International Association of Public Transport) is the international network for public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, scientific institutes and the public transport supply and service industry. It is a platform for worldwide cooperation, business development and the sharing of know-how between its 3,100 members from 90 countries. UITP is the global advocate for public transport and sustainable mobility, and the promoter of innovations in the sector.

www.uitp.org

Press contact: Sarah D’Angelo | UITP Communications Junior Manager

Direct phone: +32 (0)2 6636639 | Fax: +32 (0)2 6601072 | sarah.d’angelo@uitp.org

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