Transport Action for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable, low carbon mobility is a powerful driver for positive, systemic transformation of our societies. This transformation is outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030″. The 2030 Agenda was designed to be a cross-cutting and interconnected agenda, with the achievement of one SDG often dependent on the achievement of a series of others. While sustainable, low carbon transport and mobility is not represented by a stand-alone SDG, its successful implementation supports the achievement of almost every SDG.


Enabling sustainable, low carbon transport and mobility worldwide has explicit as well as implicit implications for the success of the entire 2030 Agenda, with social, environmental and economic “multiplier effects” that go well beyond the scale of financial investment. Some areas where transport has the greatest positive impacts include: ending poverty (SDG 1); ending hunger (SDG 2); promoting healthy lifestyles and well-being (SDG 3); empowering women and girls (SDG 5); ensuring sustainable and modern energy (SDG 7); building resilient infrastructure (SDG 9); making cities sustainable (SDG 11); and taking action to combat climate change and its impacts (SDG 13).


The SLOCAT Wheel on Transport and the SDGs aims to articulate the breadth of positive interactions between sustainable, low carbon transport and mobility and the 2030 Agenda. We have identified four cross-cutting themes — Equitable, Healthy, Green and Resilient — to present these interactions. Under each theme, fundamental notions related to socio-economic and environmental systems on which sustainable, low carbon transport can affect positive change are highlighted.


The analysis is completed with a detailed list of targets across all SDGs for which action on sustainable, low carbon transport and mobility has the strongest impact. The transport-specific indicators used to assess advancement towards some of these targets in the framework of official 2030 Agenda monitoring efforts are also included in this analysis.

Since the first UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2016, SLOCAT has been assessing transport references in the Voluntary National Review, which provides a useful resource for policy-makers to better understand the role of transport in achieving the SDGs.

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