Transport Initiatives in the Context of An Action Agenda on Transport and Climate Change

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The 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change was remarkable because of the agreement to move to a target of well below the two-degree scenario and the agreement reached that non-State actors have an important role to play in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The transport sector is well placed to deliver on the outcomes of the Paris Agreement.

Inspired by the call to action by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon an initial 5 multi-stakeholder initiatives were launched during the Climate Summit in September 2014. The actions on transport presented at the Climate summit in particular focused on scaling up public transport and make it the number one choice for travel; greater use of more efficient rail and public transport; accelerated introduction of urban electric transport; more fuel efficient passenger vehicles; and action plans on green freight.

As part of the  Global Climate Action Agenda (GCAA), which was set up to further increase actions on climate change by non-State actors an additional ten multi-stakeholder initiatives on low carbon transport were set up covering a range of areas including aviation, cycling, intelligent transport services, low carbon road construction, taxis, urban planning, water transport.

Collectively the 15 initiatives, if widely supported by state-and non-state actors, and implemented at scale, can reduce the carbon footprint of an estimated half of all the passenger and freight trips made by 2025. Actions such as these can contribute to substantive savings associated with a shift to low carbon transport. The International Energy Agency estimated that these could be as high as $70 trillion USD by 2050 as less money would need be invested in vehicles, fuel and transport infrastructure reflecting the strong economic case for climate action in the transport sector.

The “Lima Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) Transport Focus”, a half day Thematic Session on Transport in COP21 in Paris, France on December 3rd highlighted the efforts of all transport stakeholders while highlighting new and ambitious announcements from the sector. The Transport Focus, organized by the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate (PPMC) at the request of the LPAA, sent a clear signal to UNFCCC Parties on the engagement of these initiatives and their commitment to a low carbon and resilient pathway for the transport sector.

The increased importance for non-State actors in the Paris Agreement has motivated the Transport Initiatives to intensify their efforts to implement their commitments made at COP21.  The Transport Initiatives are increasingly aligning their initiatives with the 2030 Goals on Sustainable Development, adopted in September 2015, and which include a range of targets on strengthening rural and urban access as well as improving rural connectivity and making transport more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

GCAA Transport Initiatives Report

The PPMC has worked with the GCAA Transport Initiatives to prepare a report on the progress of the initiatives since COP 21 in Paris and their plans for 2017. The report titled “Global Climate Action Agenda (GCAA) Transport Initiatives: Stock-take on action on the Implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and contribution towards the 2030 Global Goals on Sustainable Development” was released on November 7, during the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech.

Overview of Transport Initiatives

The initiatives (in alphabetical order) include:

ti-1 Airport Carbon Accreditation: Reducing carbon emissions & increasing airport sustainability ti-4 Navigating a Changing Climate: Think Climate: to reduce emissions, strengthen resilience, and adapt waterborne transport infrastructure
ti-3 Aviation’s Climate Action Takes Off: Collaborative climate action across the air transport sector ti-2 The UIC Low Carbon Sustainable Rail Transport Challenge: On the low carbon track
ti-5 C40 Clean Bus Declaration: Raising ambition and catalyzing markets ti-6 UITP Declaration on Climate Change Leadership:Supporting our goal to double the market share of public transport by 2025
ti-7 Global Fuel Economy Initiative: 100 countries for 50 by 50 ti-8 Urban Electric Mobility Initiative: Harnessing technological innovations and better urban planning to promote low carbon transport
ti-9 Global Green Freight Action Plan: Reducing the climate and health impacts of goods transport ti-10 World Cycling Alliance (WCA) and European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) Commitment: Cycling delivers on the global goals
ti-11 ITS for Climate: Using intelligent transportation systems (ITS) to deliver big results at a small cost ti-12 Worldwide Taxis Initiative : Accelerating the introduction of low emission vehicles in taxis fleet by 2020
ti-13 Low Carbon Road and Road Transport Initiative (LC2RTI): Green roads-clean growth ti-14 ZEV Alliance: Accelerating global zero-emission vehicle adoption
takzi MobiliseYourCity: 100 cities engaged in sustainable urban mobility planning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions


City Initiatives on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport

In addition to the commitments at the global level, it is important to include sub-national and local governments in creating further access to sustainable, low carbon transport. Cities can play a significant role in scaling up sustainable, low carbon transport and facilitating transport’s contribution to a low carbon future. Since 2012, there has been a substantial increase in the number of initiatives and commitments from cities and mayors on sustainable, low carbon transport including Compact of Mayors, C40 Cities Clean Bus Declaration of Intent and Covenant of Mayors.