Declaration from Ministers on Green and Inclusive Transport

Agreed by the Council of Ministers of Transport at the 2016 Summit of the International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany


Transport that is environmentally responsible, inclusive, efficient and economically sustainable will be central to implementing the commitments made at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris in December 2015 and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Recognition of transport’s leading role comes with the duty to make the sector greener and more inclusive. Our challenge is to ensure affordable access for all and provide services for the trade and mobility on which our economies and wellbeing depend, while reducing impacts on the environment and public health.

Demand for transport is growing rapidly, with particularly strong growth coming from trade-driven freight transport and rapid or persistent motorisation in urban areas. Most of this growth is CO2 intensive. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change opens a new era of initiative to secure a low- carbon future for transport. This will be essential to address the growing share of transport in global energy-related CO2 emissions.

A combination of advances in renewable power generation and propulsion technology, managing demand along with changes in behaviour, as well as novel approaches to rationalising mobility and land use, will be necessary to address these challenges. At the same time, exogenous factors such as changing demographics, rapid urbanisation, new trade patterns and digital connectivity need to be factored in.

Our ability to respond to these challenges and opportunities will determine the effectiveness of the shift to green and inclusive transport.

We, the Ministers responsible for transport in the member countries of the International Transport Forum, have assembled under the Presidency of Denmark to seek mutual understanding of, and orient our response to, these challenges.

Decarbonising transport


  • acknowledge the dramatic increase in motorisation in countries and its impacts on climate change, air pollution, and public health, and underline the need to adjust transport operations and policies to reverse these impacts;
  • recognise that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals will support integration of low-carbon transport policies in national and local initiatives to reduce the adverse effects of climate change and foster sustainable development across the ITF membership;
  • undertake actions to promote initiatives and effective mechanisms that foster more sustainable transport;
  • encourage enhanced coordination of transport and environmental policies across ministries and among all levels of authority, in order to better promote the shift to both green and inclusive transport, through aligned, cost-efficient and coherent policies;
  • actively support the ITF’s analytical work to help countries reduce transport-related carbon emissions and improve fuel efficiency, while enhancing transport safety and security.

Promoting inclusive transport


  • agree that transport plays a central role in providing access to jobs, education, goods and services as well as opportunities for all
  • acknowledge the vital role of public transport, as well as walking and cycling, in delivering inclusive access while reducing the carbon intensity of the transport sector, and thus the need to prioritise policies and investment for promoting these modes;
  • recognise the need to co-ordinate transport and land-use planning and policies to foster social inclusion; in particular, the development of integrated transport and social housing policies that increase access to employment through proximity and affordable, high quality transport services;
  • advise all relevant authorities and operators to intensify efforts to make transport infrastructure, equipment and services accessible to all travelers, including those with either permanent or temporary reduced mobility, in light of projected demographic change and the benefits that accessibility can bring for all travelers;
  • promote a continued focus on assessing the economic, environmental and social benefits of inclusive and accessible transport for incorporation in project and policy appraisal;
  • support and facilitate, wherever possible, the harnessing of new technology to make transport services and infrastructure accessible for all, from journey planning, to information provision and on-board facilities.

Transport modes serving green and inclusive growth


  • affirm that all modes of transport play an important role in fostering greener and more inclusive growth;
  • recognise that growth in the maritime industry highlights the need for enhanced cooperation among transport stakeholders in order to promote the protection of the environment alongside sound framework conditions for the sector through continued collaboration in the International Maritime Organization;
  • acknowledge that the forecasted growth of aviation will require measures to mitigate its impact on the environment, while adapting to climate change; in this regard;
  • support efforts to agree a sustainable aviation framework according to the decisions of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
  • encourage efforts to foster public transport and more efficient, modally integrated forms of individual and freight mobility in urban areas to improve safety and access and reduce congestion, CO2 emissions, air pollution and noise;
  • promote the modernisation and development of inland waterway transport to contribute to the sustainable transport of goods and passengers;
  • recognise that investment in rail freight and combined transport can be effective in reducing the environmental impact of logistics chains;
  • encourage focus on the sustainable development of international road freight transport;
  • recognise that promoting quality transport infrastructure planning, maintenance and development contributes to transport sector resilience, mitigation of climate change impacts, as well as economic growth and social inclusiveness.

New technologies and digitalisation; enabling the shift towards green and inclusive transport


  • welcome the benefits to transport brought by the advances of new technologies and business and labour models, as well as digitalisation in enhancing the sustainability of transport infrastructure and services, and providing better access to transport services for all;
  • affirm in particular that increased connectivity and automation in the transport sector carry the prospect for enhanced benefits for safety, efficiency, the environment and access to opportunity;
  • recognise that data is essential to the planning, provision and management of transport services and infrastructure, and that there are great potential benefits to automated data and data-sharing between the public and private sectors;
  • acknowledge that regulatory frameworks may need to be adjusted to accommodate this new economic dynamic, while protecting personal data, public health, the environment, and ensuring other economic and social benefits.



Michael KLOTH

Head of Communications

M +33 (0)6 27 21 47 41