Transport Tackles Climate Change at COP 20

by Antonio Juan Sosa, Vice President of Infrastructure, CAF – Development Bank of Latin America

When looking at CO2 emissions from fuel combustion, transport is the second largest contributor in the Latin American region (International Energy Agency, 2011). As we all know, transport is a derivate demand, we do not increase our utility functions by consuming transport, but then again, we all need to satisfy our access and mobility needs. 

Extreme climate conditions may reduce global GDP in 1%, and climate change costs may sum up to near 5% of the world´s GDP per year (UNESCO). Some research has established that the economic cost associated to climate change will be US $100.000 million to year 2050, and is estimated that for adaptation, costs will range between US $20.000 and $300.000 million per year. 

Moreover, specifically for the Latin American and the Caribbean region, the severity of impacts will depend on the vulnerability of each country, which is determined by its exposure level, inhabitants sensitivity and institutional adaptation capability. 

Many challenges are set by today´s needs, but it is our responsibility, as multilateral agencies, as policy makers, as transport users, to make a difference. The Transport sector needs to continue to promote and enhance competitiveness, global access to employment reducing spatial mismatch, to healthcare and to educationcenters. Promoting a reduction on fossil fuels dependency, developing and contributing to renewable energy sources deployment, intensifying structural policies with urban and regional planning, travel demand management, vehicle efficiency, is our challenge. 

CAF – development Bank of Latin America will continue, alongside the other multilateral development banks, to pursue the Voluntary Commitment establish during Rio+20 to deployed financial and technical resources to support sustainable transport.