SLoCaT Partnership emphasizes the need to mainstream sustainable transport in the proposed Post-2015 development agenda

Shanghai-May 1st 2014

The Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) sent a letter to the Co-Chairs and Member States of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG) presenting its comments to the Working Document prepared for the Eleventh Session of the OWG. The Eleventh Session of the OWG will be held on May 5-9 2014 in New York, United States of America.

In the letter,  it was stated that the sustainable transport community believes that a set of well defined and measurable development goals that address the economic, social and environmental dimension of development can be very helpful in providing guidance to a range of communities working on sustainable development, including the transport community. The Results Framework on Sustainable Transport developed by the SLoCaT Partnership outlines how transport can best be mainstreamed in other focus/goal areas.

There are a number of concerns related to the manner that sustainable transport was included in the different Focus Areas in the Working Document for the 11th OWG session. The SLoCaT Partnership believes that there should be a specific target relating to rural access. 3.3 billion people live in rural areas and in many countries poor access (insufficient roads, trails, bridges and transport services) contributes to extreme poverty and limits people’s access to healthcare, education, markets and economic opportunities. We would like to suggest the following reformulation of Target 8g under the Focus area 8 on economic growth, employment and infrastructure: “Develop sustainable infrastructure accessible to all, with attention to the needs of countries in special situations, and by 2030 provide access for 100% of rural populations to safe sustainable transport”.

Given the importance of rural roads and transport services for stimulating food production (input provision, access to markets) and reducing food losses, we suggest the following editing of target 2d under Focus 2 on agriculture and food security: “By 2030 achieve access to adequate inputs, knowledge, productive resources, financial services, markets and sustainable transport for small farmers and fishers, with a particular focus on women and indigenous peoples”.

Recent research from the Global Burden of Disease shows the extent of the health burden (1.24 million fatalities per year), particularly on young people. Currently road safety is included in target 10b under Focus Area 10 on Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements. Considering that in several countries the majority of road crashes happen outside urban areas, it is not appropriate to place road safety under the urban Focus Area. Therefore it is important to include a dedicated road safety target under Focus Area 3: Health and Population Dynamics, which would read: Halve the burden due to global road traffic crashes by halving the number of fatalities and serious injuries by 2030 compared to 2010. This target can be cross referenced when addressing key focus areas such as Urbanisation and Infrastructure. The target is measurable, easy to communicate, inclusive and universal. It would contribute to wider health and sustainable development priorities.

The transport community expresses its strong support for a stand-alone goal to “build inclusive, safe, sustainable cities and human settlements”. This is vital to address issues of equity, climate change, and sustainable mobility. Spatial issues – resource efficient use of land, and comprehensive community building combining housing, schools, parks, water/sanitation, streets and sidewalks — are an unnatural fit for any but a stand-alone SDG on sustainable cities and human settlements. Extremely important issues such as transport and resilience have already been cut from the list of possible stand-alone goals; the focus area on sustainable cities remains a vital refuge for these to be addressed. It is also an essential part of a successful strategy to mainstream sustainable transport across other possible goal areas as recommended in the 7th OWG session.

The letter concluded with the sustainable transport community’s commitment to help implement a strong post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

For full-text of the letter to the OWG Co-Chairs and Member States, please click here.  For the various policy briefings and sections, please see below: