Engagement at COP24


At COP24 in Katowice, Poland, it was more apparent than ever that the political will expressed in the Paris Agreement must be maintained and coupled with heightened implementation ambition if we are to meet the ambitious targets of the Paris Agreement and keep the planet and our livelihoods on course for a stable climate future.


To promote understanding among climate action stakeholders, the Talanoa Dialogue was launched by the Fijian presidency at COP23 Bonn. The Dialogue continued at the mid-year session in Bonn in May 2018, with storytelling methods aimed to create greater understanding and awareness about each country’s challenges and ambitions. Deliberations on the Paris Agreement Work Programme(known informally as the “Paris Rulebook”) at the May 2018 session led to a follow-up session in Bangkok in September 2018. Uneven progress there resulted in a 300 plus-page draft document, which streamlined outstanding issues into one cohesive report. Key obstacles still remained to be solved going into COP24, including key implementation pathways for differentiation, transparency, and finance for transport and other sectors. In light of COP24 negotiations, a key question was how and whether the Talanoa Dialogue would continue to sustain ambition and trigger meaningful action.

Key Message 1: Net decarbonization of the transport sector by 2050 is possible, but will require an immediate and concerted turnaround of global policy action

  1. According to the IPCC Special Report, a 1.5˚C pathway for transport is possible with strengthened policy measures, increased mitigation investments, accelerated technological innovation and behavior change.
  2. Low carbon, cost-effective solutions for roadway, rail, air and maritime passenger and freight transport modes are available and have been tested at scale across regions of the globe.
  3. Concerted national, regional and urban policy frameworks together with private sector action (through the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance and related initiatives) are required to avoid unnecessary trips, shift to more efficient modes, and improve transport vehicles and energy sources.


Key Message 2: Sustainable transport is necessary for countries to deliver on their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

  1. More specific and ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions from transport are needed in NDCs to achieve full mitigation potential of the sector, which produces roughly 25% of energy related GHG emissions.
  2. Clear roadmaps for net decarbonization of the transport sector by 2050 need to be developed (e.g. Transport Decarbonisation Alliance “fast track” approach, sustainable urban mobility plans) and synchronized at all tiers of government (i.e. local, provincial, national, regional, global).
  3. Countries must implement policies required for long-term low carbon transformation of transport systems, including coordinated planning, rational pricing of road space and fuels, and technology deployment.


Key Message 3: Safe, low carbon, efficient and affordable mobility for all is essential to sustainable human development and must be enabled in all sustainable development policies

  1. Action on low carbon transport supports eight of 17 Sustainable Development Goals and accelerates progress on the New Urban Agenda and other global agreements, with benefits of improved road safety, urban access and air quality.
  2. National mobility policies can play a strong role in reducing costs to accelerate sustainable transport, and city and private sector initiatives can drive behavior change if enabled and incentivized by all levels of government.
  3. Improving access to economic, social and cultural opportunities with low-cost, low-emission transport options across urban-rural linkages can deliver social and economic progress especially for marginalized groups.


Key Message 4: Investments in low carbon transport can yield substantial, long-term benefits by increasing social cohesion and equity and reducing disability and deaths

  1. There is a growing need for sustainable transport investment. Comprehensive, consistent national and sub-national institutional and policy frameworks can drive public spending, stimulate private investment, and generate innovative financing models.
  2. Adapting transport infrastructure and services to extreme temperatures, precipitation and sea-level rise is necessary to improve resilience of transport systems and increase long-term returns on investment.
  3. Investment in low carbon transport combined with land use planning can lead to financial savings and quality-of-life benefits that extend beyond the scale, time, and budget of the investments themselves.


Key Message 5: Integrated mobility solutions have the potential to transform transport systems into more efficient, low carbon, clean air, people-centered and planet-sensitive solutions

  1. New mobility solutions (including bike-, car- and ride-sharing) offer a more efficient usage of (especially autonomous) vehicles and infrastructure, if properly integrated with walking, cycling and public transport.
  2. Transport electrification must be closely linked to renewable energy (with electric vehicles contributing storage capacity) in conjunction with reducing, shifting and sharing trips; next-generation transport fuels must have low lifecycle carbon footprints.
  3. Information and communication technologies can facilitate sustainable multimodal journeys for individual travelers, and can increase efficiency of freight and logistics by optimizing capacity and reducing empty vehicle trips.


Key Message 6: The Paris Process on Mobility and Climate and the global transport community stand ready to support development and implementation of country, city and company actions on climate change and transport

  1. The transport community is supporting governments to develop, implement and maintain their NDCs and long-term low emission development strategies.
  2. The transport community is providing policy advice and expertise to the UNFCCC process to help catalyse the decarbonisation of the transport sector and to develop capacities of individuals and institutions.
  3. The transport community is co-operating with other sectors (such as energy, health, education, human settlements and finance) to catalyse effective and enduring climate action.
  4. Enabling the full transformative potential of the global transport community will require a substantial and sustained increase in funding.


Katowice comes through in the clutch, with low-carbon transport essential for ambition and implementation

This summary of the transport dimension at COP24 is structured around the COP24 key messages of the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate (PPMC), a joint initiative of Movin’ On by Michelin and the SLOCAT Partnership to focus efforts of the global transport community to achieve Paris targets.

The so-called “Katowice Climate Package” though far from perfect or complete, came through in the final hours of COP24, demonstrating that the Paris Agreement persists. While some had hoped for heightened ambition through a continuation of the Talanoa Dialogue or a decision text encouraging countries to enhance their NDCs by 2020, the COP24 decision simply “takes note” of the Dialogue and invites parties to consider Dialogue outcomes in preparing NDCs (IISD).


In this context, Prime Minister of Fiji and President of COP23, H.E. Frank Bainimarama noted, “The Talanoa Dialogue now must give way to the Talanoa Call to Action. Together, we must recognize the gravity of the challenge weface –the need to increase our collective NDCs fivefold –five times more ambition, five times more action –if we are to achieve the 1.5DS target.” UN Secretary-General António Guterres returned to Katowice late during COP24 to interject energy into flagging proceedings; noted Guterres after the final COP24 decision, “the priorities now are ambition, ambition, ambition, ambition, and ambition” (IISD).COP25 will take place in Chile in November 2019, following Brazil’s reversal of its initial plans to host the conference.


The next COP, in concert with a preparatory session hosted by Costa Rica, is expected to tackle unresolved issues and will surely holdimplications for low carbon transport in a region that is highly urbanised, has a high bus public transport mode share, and has a high share of renewables in its energy mix. 2019 holds other important climate action milestones. For example, The UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in September 2019, will focus on demonstrating transformative action in the real economy to support Paris Agreement goals.


The SLOCAT Partnership Secretariat looks forward to supporting and facilitating engagement of its members and the wider transport community in these 2019 milestones in collaboration with key partners. The transport community must similarly continue the trajectory of raising ambition on sustainable low carbon mobility and providing continued guidance for translating ambition into accelerated action through tested sustainable mobility solutions across the Global North and South. Noted Prime Minister Bainimarama,“together, we can overcome the greatest threat humanity has ever faced –with the entire global community emerging more prosperous and more resilient.” In the coming year, the PPMC, in concert with the global transport community, will continue its efforts to facilitate action on sustainable, low carbon transport to help realise this bold and crucial vision.

Download full report

The Transport Day 2018 at COP24 was jointly organized by the European Commission’s CIVITAS Initiative and SLoCaT on behalf of the PPMC, and is hosted and supported by the City of Katowice. Read more

Poland declared at the end of 2017 that the country will invest 1.44 billion USD in sustainable transport through a Low-Emission Transport Fund. This will help to finance 1,000 electric buses for Polish cities. The national government passed a law to support the development of e-mobility and the main goal is to have 1 million electric vehicles by 2025.

Katowice strongly prioritizes people in transport planning and their SUMP Katowice 2030. The city plans to expand its tram network, develop a cycling path network.