The key to a sustainable transport system according to the UN SG
Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon gave seven ideas for sustainable transport as it “will improve human wellbeing, enhance social progress and protect our planet.” He gave the announcement during the first ever Global Sustainable Transport Conference in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
According to the UN transport is responsible for nearly one quarter of energy related greenhouse gas emissions which makes it a threat to the environment. “Without action on the transportation front, we will not be able to limit global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius and as close as 1.5 as possible,” he said.
Mr. Ban believes there’s a human side to the transport sector which transcends economics and argues all people should be concerned about those who don’t have the access they deserve.
“Sustainable transport is out of reach for too many rural communities. Millions of persons with disabilities cannot use public transportation because it is inaccessible. Older persons struggle to move from one place to the next. Even where transport is available it may not be safe, especially for women and girls, who often rightly fear they may be attacked,” he explained, while relating it to other sustainable development goals.
Secretary General’s proposal consists on environmentally friendly, affordable and accessible transportation systems which are aided by technological advances. Here are his seven proposals:
1- An integrated policy framework that aligns with the UN SDG’s that resolves interlocking problems of transport.
2- Addressing the needs of the vulnerable countries, including the least developed, the landlocked and small island developing states, noting they need simplified border crossings and clear regional regulations and requirements.
3- Promoting better transport system in the cities, improving public transport while promoting walking and cycling.
4- Making all transport system safe and secure so that we can reach the 2030 target of “calling for access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport system for all.”
5- Bold and innovate steps in re-thinking transport systems. From design to technology and consumption patterns so that we can address the environmental impacts of transport and mitigate its impact on climate change and local air pollution.
6- For financing, Mr. Ban proposes “mobilizing funds from a variety of sources and fostering North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation.” Also, public-private partnerships are indispensable.
7- Partnerships. He believes putting people at the center of transport planning, working together and cooperation is crucial to mobilize all partners and changing the system.
This was Mr. Ban’s final international conference as UN Secretary General. In his remarks he told delegations that he is “confident the international community as the resolve, commitment, imagination and creativity to transform our transport systems in a sustainable manner that will improve human wellbeing, enhance social progress and protect our planet Earth.”