Six actions to enable walking, cycling and public transport for people and planet

In order to reach the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement and provide equitable access to transport and mobility for all, the urgent transformation of transport is necessary. At the Glasgow Climate Conference – COP26, Parties and non-Party stakeholders came together around pledges on a number of fronts, from scaled up action on emissions from aviation and shipping, to the electrification of a range of vehicles, including cars, vans and medium- to heavy-duty vehicles. While these efforts are essential to bringing the world in line with the 1.5°C target, much more needs to be done to not only bring emissions from transport systems down to zero and scale up their resilience, but also to guarantee equitable access to transport and mobility systems that truly leave no one and no place behind. Walking, cycling and public transport hold the key to many of the solutions needed to achieve these goals through a just transition. Still they are under-prioritised aspects of the climate agenda, from a policy and funding perspective.

At COP27 Sharm el Sheikh, governments at all levels, multilateral organisations, international financial institutions and national development banks must act to meaningfully scale up  walking, cycling and public transport systems, particularly in the Global South.

The SLOCAT Partnership calls on these stakeholders to enable walking, cycling and public transport solutions as core elements of their climate action for transport by specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based action in six areas:

1. Prioritising the promotion, support and scale up of walking, cycling and public transport, as well as the decoupling of economic growth and private car use, with tailored educational, policy and funding measures.

These measures should make walking, cycling and public transport reliable, convenient, cost-effective and accessible to all. In addition, there must be explicit consideration for walking, cycling and public transport demand and supply impacts in all transport projects and new developments.

2. Investing in infrastructure that enables walking, cycling and public transport, by, among other actions, reallocating existing funding from fossil fuel subsidies.

3. Implementing integrated land and transport design and planning, with robust safeguards for healthy, gender sensitive, pro-poor and disabilities-conscious impacts so these modes effectively become the most convenient options for most trips.

4. Involving multidisciplinary health experts in the development and implementation of walking, cycling and public transport policy.

5. Enhancing coordination among different tiers of government, as well as the technical and financial capacities of sub-national and local governments to help cities and communities realise this shift in design, planning, funding and implementation.

6. Applying an integrated and balanced mix of AvoidShiftImprove transport strategies to reduce emissions and increase equitable access to resilient transport systems.

Facts and Figures

Walking, cycling and public transport are the backbone of urban mobility
Walking and cycling are essential feeders to public transport
Walking, cycling and public transport are cost-effective
Women rely on walking and public transport
Lower income groups depend on walking, cycling and public transport
Public transport, walking and cycling are more efficient
E-buses are making public transport cleaner than ever
Walking, cycling and public transport infrastructure are excellent investments
A large share of car trips can be substituted
Investments in walking and cycling enhance road safety
Walking, cycling and public transport create healthier communities
Cycling can improve logistics for local goods and services delivery
Walking, cycling and public transport support community cohesion

Library of Partners' Activities

Curious to learn more about how the wider partnership is working to support walking, cycling and public transport? Then check out this sample of ever-growing initiatives, activities and materials from across the SLOCAT family.

EcoMobility Initiative

EcoMobility gives priority to walking, cycling, public transport, and shared light electric vehicles. It promotes travel through integrated, socially inclusive, and environmentally-friendly options without depending on privately-owned vehicles.
Read more

ICLEI

Compact Cities Electrified

Report that looks at how the urban transportation sector, in order to keep below 1.5°C global warming, needs both compact cities developed for walking, cycling and public transit, as well as a rapid and strategic transition to electrified vehicles.
Read more

ITDP

Making the Economic Case for Cycling

A brief that makes the economic case for cycling and demonstrates how investments in cycling infrastructure are the key to unlocking economic and other benefits.
Read more

ITDP

Link of Active Modes to SDGs

An infographics explaining how MobiliseYourCity thinks that active modes of transport contribute to SDGs achievement
Read more

MobiliseYourCity

Active Modes to Decarbonise Urban Transport

How MobiliseYourCity promotes active modes of transport
Read more

MobiliseYourCity

Key Messages on How to Shape Net-zero Cities Through Active Modes and Public Transport

Eight key messages from the experts and practitioners who discussed how to leverage these modes of transportation to shape net-zero cities during the Transport and Climate Change Week.
Read more

MobiliseYourCity and GIZ

Cycling Facts: New Insights in Netherlands

Trends in bicycle use and Social effects of bicycle use in Netherlands
Read more

Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis

Public Transport Benefits

Key statistics and positive impacts of public transport’s benefits for cities and citizens.
Read more

UITP

Better Urban Mobility Playbook

Advocacy tool for urban authorities on challenges, solutions and case studies
Read more

UITP

Cycling Benefits in Lima

Social Cost Benefit Analysis for updating Cycle Infrastructure Plan in Lima, Peru
Read more

World Bank

We invite all SLOCAT partners to share any initiatives, activities or materials related to walking, cycling and public transport they would like featured in the library. Please contact Arjay Dineros () to learn more!

Join us!

Show your support for a 1.5°C future, for sustainable development and a better world that truly leaves no one behind. Join us in spreading the word and working to support meaningful attention for walking, cycling and public transport everywhere!

Share your support now!

This call to action was developed together with the SLOCAT Task Force on Transport Community Engagement in the UNFCCC. It does not necessarily represent a consensus among partners on any given point. Although the information provided is the best available to the authors at the time, SLOCAT and its partners cannot be held liable for its accuracy and correctness.