Engagement at COP21


The 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) represented a historic opportunity to fully integrate the transport sector within the UNFCCC process in order to reverse the trend of growing emissions and mitigate climate change, while making transport infrastructure and services more resilient to climate impacts already underway. Transport plays an elevated role within the UNFCCC process for both pre-2020 ambition and post-2020 action, as countries are pledging significant contributions to emissions reductions from the transport sector within their INDCs, and discussions on technology transfer, climate finance and capacity-building would also have a significant impact on the capacity of countries worldwide to scale up sustainable transport initiatives. COP21 addressed key topics such as fossil fuel subsidy reform and increased accountability for emissions generated in the aviation and maritime industries.

COP 21 – 2015: a new platform wasborn

At COP21, the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate (PPMC) was created as an open and inclusive platform that actively invites all organizations and initiatives that support effective action on transport and climate change to join in the process. The PPMC was created to strengthen the voice of the sustainable transport community in the UNFCCC process, especially with a view to the upcoming Conference of Parties (COP21) in December 2015 in Paris. COP21 resulted in a new global agreement on climate change, which will shape climate policy in the years to come at a global, regional and national level. By bringing together different actors and stakeholders in the sustainable transport community it was possible for the transport sector to have its voice heard and speak with one voice on the important contribution that sustainable mobility can make to the mitigation of, and adaptation to climate change. (2013), COP 20 in Lima (2014) and other major conferences. Read more

The SLOCAT Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport, together with Bridging the Gap Initiative (BtG Initiative), and the Michelin Challenge Bibendum (MCB) organised Transport Day 2015 on 6 December 2015, in the context of COP 21 in Paris, France.

Transport Day 2015 demonstrated the resolve of the transport sector to take action on Transport and Climate Change and celebrated the progress made in integrating transport in the UNFCCC process: (a) Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) make explicit reference to transport action; and (b) the Transport Initiatives associated with the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit and Lima Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) showed that non-State actors are making effort to tackle climate change through the transport sector.

Transport Day continued to be the premier community-building event for the sector in the annual COP. It brought together over 400 persons representing the different modes of transport as well as the different constituencies. Furthermore, since transport is a cross-cutting issue for sustainable development and economic growth, it reflects the readiness and commitment of transport stakeholders to engage with other sectors.

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Paris Agreement Creates Great Opportunities and Responsibilities for the Transport Sector

COP21 offers not only opportunities but also responsibilities for the transport sector, which must be carried forth by all segments of the sustainable transport community, through theconcerted efforts oftransport experts and advocates, financing institutions, national ministries, and international bodies.With the ink barely dry on the Paris Agreement, we are anticipatingthe hard work ahead, which will be necessary to ensure that the collective spirit of last week’sproceedingsare quickly translated into concrete steps toward the ambitious targets –most importantlythe aspiration to reach a 1.5 degree scenario. While hopes are high, the burden of expectationis higher, as noted in the COP21 closing session by the representative of South Africa, which launched the process for creating the Paris Agreementfour years ago in Durban, who quotedNelson Mandela in her remarks on “turning the finish line that is Paris into a new starting line for the ongoing process that leads to Marrakech and beyond”.“I have walked that long roadto freedom… I have not faltered,[though] I have made many missteps along the way. I have taken a moment here to rest,to steal a view of the glorious vistathatsurrounds me…but I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities and I dare not linger, because my long walk is not ended.”

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The SLOCAT daily newsletters were based on the six key message areas of the #WeAreTransport Campaign; (a) Decarbonization of the Transport Sector, (b) Adaptation and Climate Resilience in the Transport Sector, (c) Urgency and Timeliness of Action on Transport and Climate Change, (d) Transport’s Connectivity and Accessibility, (e) Technological Dynamism and Innovation for Transport, and (f) Finance for Low Carbon Transport and Economy-Wide Gains. Under each key area, we will introduce relevant SLoCaT Knowledge Products as well as present summaries of the transport side events at COP.

The daily newsletters also highlighted Transport Champions of the day; one transport-focused INDC, one transport initiative linked to the LPAA and one transport climate action from the 80 Days Campaign.