Shanghai, 4 March, 2013, Sustainable transport was added to the list of Action Networks for Sustainable Development. This follows a 2012 decision by UN- Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon to make transport one of the six building blocks for sustainable development In the Five Year Action Agenda for his second term. At that time the SG also announced his intention to convene aviation, marine, ferry, rail, road and urban public transport providers, along with Governments and investors, to develop and take action on recommendations for more sustainable transport systems that can address rising congestion and pollution worldwide, particularly in urban areas
The key role of sustainable transport was also highlighted in the “Future We Want”, the outcome document of the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development- (Rio+20): “Transportation and mobility are central to sustainable development”. The relevance of sustainable transport for sustainable development was also elaborated in the joint UN-DESA-SLoCaT Rio+20 Issues Brief on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport in Emerging and Developing Countries. This explains the need to improve access to goods and services in support of economic and social development while at the same time minimizing the negative environmental, social and economic impacts of a rapidly growing transport sector.
The UN Sustainable Development Action Networks are action-oriented communities where stakeholders may collaborate and share information on certain sustainable development topics and campaigns – they are meant to catalyze actions among all stakeholders and their networks to implement concrete policies, plans, programmes, projects in support of the objectives of the network.
The Action Network on Sustainable Transport integrates different initiatives on sustainable, low carbon transport. This includes the voluntary commitments on sustainable transport made at Rio+20 including the unprecedented USD 175 billion voluntary commitment for more sustainable transport by the world’s eight largest Multilateral Development Banks. The UN-DESA hosted Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), a voluntary multi-stakeholder partnership, founded in 2009, established following the format of 2002 WSSD decisions, helps to coordinate many of the initiatives under the Action Network on sustainable transport.
“This is an important step for the sustainable transport community to get its voice heard in the discussion on the post-2015 development agenda”, said Cornie Huizenga, the Joint Convener of the Partnership on Sustainable Transport, who worked with the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Development in setting up the Action Network on Sustainable Transport.