Transport is ascending in climate action at the Abu Dhabi Ascent

Abu Dhabi, May 5, 2014 

Transportation itself is ascending in attention in the global discussion of climate change solutions at the Abu Dhabi Ascent meeting organized by the UN Secretary General, 4-5 May 2014. Several hundred senior government and finance institution representatives, leaders of business and civil society, are meeting for two days to prepare voluntary commitments that might be announced at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in New York on September 23, 2014.

During the Abu Dhabi Ascent, representatives of private sector and the civil society organizations will announce 31 initatives in 9 different high-impact areas. Transport is the second largest sector making 6 out of 31 initiatives in three areas: Transport, Energy Efficiency and Short-Lived Climate Pollutants.  In order to present an overview of the transport initiatives, the SLoCaT Partnership conducted interviews with representatives from the organizations that announced their commitments at the Ascent Meeting.

A few highlights from the breakout sessions on transport:

In yesterday evening’s breakout session, the International Association Of Public Transport (UITP) has invited its 1,300 member organisations in 92 countries to show their leadership position on climate through its climate declaration and announce investor ready, verifiable and reportable commitments to be launched in at the Climate Summit in September to support the goal to double the market share of public transport by 2025.

The International Union of Railways (UIC), and their 240 member railway companies, stated their intention to achieve a substantive reduction in transport carbon emissions with proposed targets of a 75% reduction in specific emissions and doubling of modal shift to railways by 2050, supported by robust monitoring, verification & reporting.

Today, UN-Habitat and its partners encouraged governments, industry, finance and civil society to join or phase out conventionally fuelled vehicles and increase the share of electric vehicles in the total volume of individual motorized transport in cities to at least 30% by 2030, to achieve a 30% reduction of CO2 emissions in urban areas by 2050.

Another one of the transport initiatives is in the energy efficiency area. As the global vehicle fleet is predicted to triple between now and 2050, with most -80% – of that expansion in developing countries, the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) emphasized the need to set a target to double energy efficiency worldwide, will be absolutely vital. And the need for progress on energy efficiency is particularly crucial in the transport sector. The GFEI wants to see global new car fuel consumption cut by 50% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, and the same reduction across the whole fleet by 2050.

The SLoCaT Partnership is blogging live from the Abu Dhabi Ascent on the discussions around the sustainable transport initiatives.  Check out the latest post from our three representatives on the ground: Cornie Huizenga (Secretary General of SLoCaT Partnership), Heather Allen (Sustainable Transport Director of Transport Research Laboratory), Michael Replogle (Managing Director Policy & Founder of Institute for Transportation and Development Policy).

Also, see the following hashtags for live updates of what is happening at the ascent:

Twitter Hashtag Transportascent

Twitter Hashtag Abudhabiascent

Specifically for road safety, Twitter Hashtag TargetSavelives