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22 Apr 2010



Brussels, 22 April 2010

The 40th World Earth Day will be celebrated on 22 April by more than one billion people involved in activities in more than 190 countries. On the core issue of climate change, Earth Day 2010 can be a turning point to advance climate policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy and green jobs.

The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) stresses the positive impact of public transport on climate change and the green economy and highlights therefore the urgent need to include transport, and more specifically urban transport, in climate policy.

Since the Kyoto Protocol (1997), urban populations have risen significantly and transport is now responsible for 23% of energy-related CO2 emissions globally and for 13% of all GHG emissions.

The majority of GHG emissions now come from urban areas and urban transport emissions are on the increase (especially from the developing world).

According to the UITP study ‘Mobility in Cities Database’, cities with a modal share of public transport, cycling and walking above 55% produce on average about 2.4 tons less CO2 from passenger transport per capita per year than cities where the modal share of private motorised modes is above 75%. Thus, if two cities of one million inhabitants had these contrasting mobility patterns, the city with high use of public transport would produce about 2.4 million tons less CO2 from passenger transport per year than the other.

In order to balance the extra amounts of CO2 emitted, cities relying mainly on private motorised mobility should plant about 200 trees per capita (as the annual CO2 absorption ability of a tree is about 12kg according to UNEP).

To even attempt to keep global temperature rises at 2°C, emissions worldwide need to peak in 2015 (only five years from now) and then fall by 80% in the developed world and by 50% in the developing world by 2050.

The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) has developed a strategy calling on governments, cities and local authorities, investors, operators and the industry for a strong commitment to doubling the public transport market share worldwide by 2025.

“Public Transport is certainly part of the solution to climate change, and it can fill the gap for the short and medium term”, says Hans Rat, Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport.


Notes 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 3,200 members from 90 countries.

UITP is the global advocate for public transport and sustainable mobility, and the promoter of innovations in the sector. For more information, visit For more information about “PTx2”, please visit


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