On 1 January 2016, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by world leaders in September 2015, officially came into force. The 2030 Agenda is a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 169 targets stimulating actions to shift global development onto a more sustainable and resilient path.

Although sustainable transport is not represented by a standalone SDG in the 2030 Agenda, it is mainstreamed in a direct or indirect manner into many SDGs. The 2030 Agenda has set path for the transport sector to be more sustainable to minimize road injuries and fatalities, provide sustainable infrastructure for urban, rural, passenger and freight transport, increase access to public transport and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. In short, without sufficient sustainable transport infrastructure and services across the world’s regions, at least half of the SDGs are at risk of not achieving their potential.

The High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development is the United Nation central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda. As the first session after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, HLPF 2016 was convened with 22 countries presenting their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) to review their progress on SDG implementation.

The Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) has prepared a document to assess the treatment of sustainable transport in the 22 VNRs submitted in 2016. The analysis shows that although 64% of the VNRs submitted in 2016 contain references to transport, there is still great potential to raise the profile of sustainable transport in this ongoing review process:

Key findings

A secondary purpose of this document is to serve as a supportive document for SLoCaTs advocacy for sustainable transport to country VNR coordinators and other relevant stakeholders in the SDG process. The SLoCaT Partnership will actively advocate for the inclusion of sustainable transport in the 2017 VNRs with the following aims:

Although VNRs are submitted and presented by national officials, the process values broad consultation and coordination ranging from inter-ministerial coordination to the wider inclusion of civil society and public consultations. There are thus considerable opportunities for the sustainable transport community to voice their opinion on the next round of VNRs to be presented at the HLPF 2017 in July. Examples of specific channels to influence the VNR process include: 1) Expert Group Meetings and Regional Preparatory Meetings to the HLPF and 2) direct outreach to the VNR focal points.

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Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) Offer Opportunities for Ambitious Action for Sustainable Transport

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