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  • Writer's pictureRadoje Lausevic

Sustainable Transport

There is need to act now: Live sustainable lifestyles! #GreenYourLife

  • 25% of energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide comes from transport sector

  • 75% of Europe’s citizens live in cities

  • 40% of CO2 in Europe originates from road transport

  • 3,7 million early deaths in Europe every year are due to air pollution, mostly in cities

The role of transport in sustainable development was first recognized at the 1992 United Nation’s Earth Summit and reinforced in its outcome document – the Agenda 21. Several chapters, as for example Chapter 9 on Atmosphere and Chapter 7 on Human Settlements recognize Transport as a key development issue.

Useful knowledge on sustainable transport is stored on UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. There, you can find information which points on transport sector as responsible for one quarter of energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide, with its emissions increasing at a faster rate than any other sectors. Thus, transport sector must be included in any effective policy response to climate change and in order to keep the global temperature increase below the two-degree Celsius.

Sustainable transport is essential to achieving most, if not all, of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Although sustainable transport is not represented by a standalone SDG, it is mainstreamed across several SDGs and targets, especially those related to food security, health, energy, infrastructure and cities and human settlements.

Source: Mobilizing Sustainable Transport for Development by High-level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport, 2016

In 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed an independent High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport to provide a focused set of recommendations on how the transport sector can advance sustainable development with poverty eradication at its core, promote economic growth, and bolster the fight against climate change. The outcome of this effort is Mobilizing Sustainable Transport for Development, the first ever Global Sustainable Transport Outlook Report, addressing all modes of transport, in developing and developed countries.

Sustainable transport is very much in focus in Europe. Eltis – the urban mobility observatory is created more than 10 years ago. It facilitates the exchange of information, knowledge and experiences in the field of sustainable urban mobility in Europe. It is aimed at individuals working in transport as well as in related disciplines, including urban and regional development, health, energy and environmental sciences. Eltis is now Europe's main observatory on urban mobility. It is financed by the European Commission's Directorate General for Mobility and Transport.

Principal annual event on sustainable transport and urban mobility in Europe is European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans. It enables an international community of practitioners, policy makers, city staff and academics from across Europe to come together to debate key issues, highlight developments in mobility planning and exchange ideas and experience. This year, 4th European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans is starting today in the City of Dubrovnik, Croatia. This year's two days edition followed three previous conferences held in Bremen (2016), Bucharest (2015) and Sopot (2014).

Dubrovnik conference is organized under the theme “Intelligent Planning for Sustainable Mobility”. More information and conference outputs you can find here.

European sustainable transport flagship initiative is CIVITAS. It is a network of cities for cities dedicated to cleaner, better transport in Europe and beyond. Abbreviation stands for CIty-VITAlity-Sustainability. CIVITAS encompass (1) living “labs” and research projects, (2) network of cities for cities, (3) public private partnerships (PPP), and various political commitments. Since it was launched by the European Commission in 2002, the CIVITAS Initiative has tested and implemented over 800 measures and urban transport solutions as part of demonstration projects in more than 80 Living Lab cities Europe-wide.

Check is your city participating CIVITAS. If not, #GreenYourLife and lobby your city to join initiative.

Cover infographic from UN Environment

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