Rio+20 Voluntary Commitments to Create Universal Access to Safe, Clean and Affordable Transport on Track

BERLIN, GERMANY (20 June, 2013)—The implementation of the Voluntary Commitments on Sustainable Transport launched at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, one year ago today, is well on track concluded the report “Creating Universal Access to Safe, Clean and Affordable Transport”, presented today at the Berlin High Level Dialogue on Implementing Rio+20 Decisions on Sustainable Cities and Transport.

The 17 Voluntary Commitments launched at Rio+20 include activities on knowledge management, capacity building, policy dialog and facilitation as well as financing. The eight largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) last year pledged to invest US$175 billion to finance more sustainable transportation systems over the coming decade. 

“Working on transport is part of this moral responsibility we have especially to the cities of today, but also to future generations” commented World Bank President Jim Yong Kim when talking about the World Bank’s role earlier this year at the 10th Annual Transforming Transportation Conference.

The relevance of the Rio+20 Voluntary Commitments and especially the Rio+20 MDB commitment was acknowledged by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in welcome remarks delivered on his behalf at the Berlin meeting “While financing investments in sustainable transport can be challenging, we have a model in the Rio+20 conference, which saw an unprecedented level of voluntary commitments.  The eight largest multilateral development banks jointly committed to invest $175 billion over the next ten years in more sustainable transport in developing countries.  I commend their initiative”.

“The world is facing an unprecedented process of motorization. In the coming ten years we will add more vehicles than in the last 100 years combined”, says David Ward, Director General FIA Foundation. “The overall costs of congestion, air pollution, and road crashes are close to 10% of GDP in many countries. Road crashes now kill more people than malaria or tuberculosis. These trends are unsustainable and unacceptable”.

The UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda called last month to end extreme poverty in all its forms in the context of sustainable development and to have in place the building blocks of sustained prosperity. “The Rio+20 Voluntary Commitments can be of great help in improving inclusive access, one of the most important of those building blocks for sustained prosperity”, says Tyrrell Duncan, Transport Practice Leader at the Asian Development Bank and currently the Chair of the MDB Working Group on Sustainable Transport. “The MDBs welcome the High Level Panel report and we believe that the MDB Rio+20 commitment can make a real difference in realizing the call of the High Level Panel for a transformative change in the manner people travel and goods are transported”.

“The Voluntary Commitments on Sustainable Transport entered into at Rio+20 were a game changer”, concludes Cornie Huizenga, Joint Convener of the SLoCaT Partnership and principal author of the report. 

“Without the Rio+20 commitments on sustainable transport it would be much more difficult for transport to become an integral and important part of the post-2015 goal framework. This underscores the strategic relevance of the commitments, which goes well beyond their direct implementation results”.

Six additional Voluntary Commitments were presented by members of the SLoCaT Partnership as part of the status report. “These new commitments will make it possible for the transport community and other development partners to better observe and track how the sector develops and what the impact of policies and measures will be on the sustainability of the transport sector at the global, national or local level”, says Michael Replogle, Managing Director for Policy and Founder of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

To download report: /rio20-VC

The SLoCaT Partnership, a multi-stakeholder partnership of over 80 members, was formed in 2009 to improve the knowledge on sustainable low carbon transport, help develop better policies and catalyze their implementation.

For  information:

-Cornie Huizenga, Joint Convener, SLoCaT Partnership and principal author of the report,  Tel. +86 13901949332 (June 20&21 in Berlin, Germany).

-Tyrrell Duncan, Director, EATC concurrently Practice Leader (Transport), Asian Development Bank and Chair of the MDB Working Group on Sustainable Transport Tel. +63 920 949 6409 (June 20&21 in Beijing, China)

-Michael Replogle, Managing Director for Policy and Founder, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy Tel. +1 301 529 0351 (June 20 in Mexico City and June 21 in Cancun, Mexico)

-David Ward, Director General, Fia Foundation  Tel. +44 207 747 5187