United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Science & Technology

Mr. Chairman,
The Scientific and Technological Community recognizes that for many countries, in
particular developing countries, the expansion of transportation, and in particular of transport
infrastructure, is an important necessity, not the least for providing farmers access to markets.
However, an increasing decoupling of this expansion of transport from fossil fuel
consumption must be achieved.
New transportation technologies are progressing on many fronts towards lower emissions of
air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Nevertheless, even with the aggressive implementation
of cleaner vehicle technologies, in developed and emerging countries there remains a strong
need to reduce demand for personal vehicle transport and long-distance road transport of
Technological innovations are gaining commercial success in differing rates. Their continued
market penetration needs to be encouraged through appropriate economic incentive
programmes, as well as enhanced targeted research, engineering, and deployment efforts.
Actions for promoting cleaner fuels and vehicles, including hybrid and electric cars, must
also be complemented by policies to diversify mobility means, to introduce efficient and
sustainable public transport, in particular in urban zones, and to enhance public space
management in cities with new modes instead of car usage. In many developing countries,
training of scientists and engineers in transport related disciplines, as well as institutional
capacity building must be fostered.
Introducing biomass production for fuels should be based on sound studies which have to
evaluate risks of competition with food production and potential effects on crop prizes.
Quite often urban transport planning seems to be playing a catching-up game related to
providing sustainable solutions. By 2050, 2/3rds of the world population will live in urban
areas. In many countries, the urban boundaries are expanding as peri-urban areas, which over
time will evolve in new cities. It is thus important to develop now a sound scientific
modelling approach in designing an integrated and inter-modal transport network, including a
feasibility analysis. Making such an approach part of CSD policy recommendations and
working with the Local Authorities would be useful for creating sustainability of the sector.
Policy dialogue at the national and local level should also focus on using all transport modes
innovatively rather than creating unwarranted competition among the transport modes and
different fuel used. Singapore, Hong Kong, London and New York are role models in this
regard that could be followed where appropriate. In general, the transport sector lends itself to
enhanced South-South cooperation, in particular as regards sharing of scientific knowledge,
best practices and engineering solutions.
This brings me to my last point. The scientific, engineering and technological communities
can play a key role in understanding the policy-implementation nexus, what has worked and
what not. For instance, a number of well researched examples the world over of alternative
fuel policies and the problems they faced in implementation can provide important
information to be taken into account by those countries which are in the process of
developing new policies in this domain. Such interdisciplinary socio-technical research
should be strengthened.
Thank you.