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On Track for Clean and Green Transport: High Level Event on Transport and Climate Change

22 September 2014 @ 9:00 am

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On 23 September, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon organized the Climate Summit for World Leaders, with the objective to catalyze action by governments, business, finance, industry, and civil society in areas for new commitments and substantial, scalable and replicable contributions to the Summit that will help the world shift toward a low-carbon economy. 

On track for green & clean transport’ – a High Level Event on Transport and Climate Change. This event was jointly organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs(UN DESA), International Union of Railways (UIC – the worldwide railway association with 240 members), Amtrak (US passenger railway company), and the Partnership for Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT). The event was supported by the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), the European Rail Industry (UNIFE), the Bridging the Gap Initiative and the Canadian rail operator Via Rail. It will be held in New York on 22 September 2014, on the day before UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Climate Summit (www.un.org/climatechange/summit2014/).

This event brought together high level stakeholders to discuss the role of sustainable transport as a solution to Climate Change, and respond to the call by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to catalyse action.

Program Overview

For detailed program and list of speakers, please download the Draft Program (as of 15 September)

During the morning session the participants took a close look at the role that railways can play as the backbone of sustainable transport systems. In the afternoon the discussions focused on climate change mitigation potential of the transport sector in the context of commitments to be presented at the UN Secretary’s General’s Climate Summit. The day ended with a closing reception to celebrate the progress being made in advocating sustainable, low carbon transport.

Morning Session: Railways

There is a global resurgence of railways and it is important to bring this to the attention of policy makers on climate change and sustainable development.  This session, aimed at national and international policy makers on (rail) transport and development, provided a global overview of how railways contribute to sustainable, low carbon development.   Recent accomplishments and future plans of Amtrakand other operators in strengthening the position of railways in the USA and worldwide will be discussed and linkages will be made with the post-2015 development agenda that is currently being discussed in the United Nations.

Afternoon Session: Transport as part of international Climate Change Policy

This session aimed to explain the importance of integrating transport in international policy on climate change. Relevant findings for the transport sector from the recent 4th Assessment report of the IPCC will be presented as an underpinning for a discussion on the mitigation potential of the transport sector. In response to the outcome of the November 2013 session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), which called for a more active integration of successful mitigation efforts by parties outside the convention into the deliberations on a new global climate change agreement, during the session the participants discussed how to best shape the contribution of the transport sector.  This included a discussion on how to integrate the transport commitments that was presented at the 23rd September Climate Summit of the Secretary General into an emerging Road map for effective action on transport and climate change; this based on the understanding that fighting climate change is essential for poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Closing Reception

Participants from morning and afternoon sessions were invited to attend a closing reception at the end of the afternoon session.

For more information on the event, please feel free to contact;

  • Cornie Huizenga, SLoCaT Partnership, cornie.huizenga[at]slocatpartnership.org
  • Nick Craven, International Union of Railways (UIC), craven[at]uic.org  
  • Mohammad Reza Salamat, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs



22 September 2014
9:00 am
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