What can the transport sector do to make COP 21 a success?
Leipzig 27th May – “Actions to address Climate Change to be agreed upon by the global community at the December 2015 Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris, France need to include real action on transport, if we want to be successful in limiting dangerous climate change”, was the central message at today’s press conference in support of the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate (PPMC) in Leipzig, Germany.
International Energy Agency statistics indicate that in 2012 the transport sector was responsible for nearly 23% of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. However, nearly two thirds of countries had a transport sector share of total emissions from fuel combustion greater than the global average of 23%. In 2012 transport was the largest energy consuming sector in 40% of countries worldwide, and in most remaining countries, transport is the second largest energy consuming sector.
The importance of action on transport and climate change is underscored by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who in a video message to transport ministers released ahead of the International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany, challenged the transport community to ”reshape the world’s transport systems” and to “find new green solutions”. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon earlier prioritized transport as one of the ‘action areas’ for commitments to be delivered in the 2014 Climate Summit he hosted, in Sept last year.
The Paris Process on Mobility and Climate (PPMC) launched today at the 2015 International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany wants to raise the profile of sustainable mobility in the discussions leading up to, during, and beyond COP21 in Paris. “For the first time we will have an inclusive platform that brings together all stakeholders on mobility and climate. While Michelin Challenge Bibendum and the SLoCaT Partnership have take the initiative on the PPMC we are calling on other groups and organizations to join the PPMC”, says Patrick Oliva, Senior Vice-President Michelin in charge of Sustainable Mobility and Energy Transition. “We are doing this well before the COP in December so that we can arrive in Paris with clear ideas on how innovation in the transport sector can contribute to more ambitious mitigation of, and adaptation to climate change”.
“If we can help to help realize a Global Agreement on Climate Change that empowers transport sector to take action on climate change, we will have succeeded”, says Cornie Huizenga, Secretary General, SLoCaT Partnership and one of the PPMC initiators. The PPMC promotes action on all modes of transport, both for passenger and freight transport. To accomplish its objective the PPMC will combine advocacy, research and outreach. Almost all the countries that have so far released their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution pledges for COP21 are including transport as one of the sectors in which action will be taken. “Several of the 150 organizations that are already part of the PPMC through the SLoCaT Partnership and the MCB are looking now at how support countries in the momentum that is opening up on mobility and climate under the UNFCCC” says Huizenga.
The PPMC builds also on the momentum created by Secretary Ban Ki-moon in his Climate Summit in September 2014. Six commitments on transport were presented then including on public transport, railways, electric mobility, fuel economy, aviation, and green freight. New and additional commitments on sustainable urban mobility planning and cycling are to be launched soon. “We take the call to action by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon serious”, says Alain Flausch, Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and Vice Chairman of the SLoCaT Partnership. “UITP announced in 2009 that it aims to double public transport by 2025. Like the targets of other commitments, this is transformational in scope, and all will be of great value to those countries that will announce action on transport and climate in Paris”.
The PPMC will actively support the ‘Train to Paris’ campaign, which was presented in the press conference by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of the International Union of Railways (UIC). “By running trains from over 10 capitals and other large cities to Paris for COP negotiators we will not only provide a direct illustration of the fundamental role of rail in the context of climate change but we will also be able talk in larger terms about sustainable transport and climate change” said Loubinoux. As part of the PPMC, UIC will also host on December 6th Transport Day 2015, following the successful Transport Day 2013 in Warsaw, Poland (COP19) and Transport Day 2014 in Lima, Peru.
Secretary General Partnership on Sustainable Low, Carbon Transport
- For information on Michelin Challenge Bibendum, see www.challengebibendum.com
- For information on the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport, see www.slocat.net
- For information on the SLoCaT National Transport Trend Analysis, see http://www.slocat.net/news/1465
- For information on the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate, see www.ppmc-cop21.org
- For information on Transport Commitments at the September 2014 Climate Summit, see www.slocat.net/climatesummit
- For information on the UIC Train to Paris campaign, see http://traintoparis.org or contact Nick Craven: firstname.lastname@example.org