United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

United Kingdom

UK INTERVENTION IN THEMATIC DISCUSSION ON ?ADDRESSING
ENERGY, INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT, AIR POLLUTION/ATMOSPHERE
AND CLIMATE CHANGE IN AN INTEGRATED MANNER, FOCUSING ON
INTERLINKAGES AND CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES? - 5 MAY 2006
Thank you Mr Chairman. The UK associates itself with the intervention by Austria
on behalf of the EU.
Mr Chairman at the start of this session you asked what issues and sectors link
the different themes were reviewing in CSD14. I should like to make the following
remarks about the transport sector.
Sustainable transport is essential for social and economic development. It
enables access to basic services, ensures that goods and people reach markets
and enhances communications. In other words it facilitates industrial, social and
economic development.
Increased demand for effective, reliable and sustainable transport is inevitable as
countries develop and economies grow. But we need to deal with this in a way
that is consistent with our commitment to sustainable consumption and
production patterns.
Well planned and adequately serviced cities are essential for the establishment
of sustainable urban systems that contribute to the growth national economies
and the improvement of peoples lives.
Transport currently depends heavily on fossil fuels, with associated impacts on
resources, air pollution and CO2 emissions. These have negative effects on
human health, and on the local as well as global environment, particularly
through climate change.
Solutions are varied and complex. Several dimensions, including the gender
dimension, have to be fully considered given rights of both women and men to
have access to decent work. Solutions will involve a combination of technology
innovations and improvements including the use of bio-fuels and alternative
fuels, economic instruments, better urban planning, improved affordable public
transport, low emission vehicles and measures to reduce the need to travel.
But when we consider the link between energy use, climate change and air
pollution its not sufficient to focus solely on land transport.
As land based pollution sources come under tighter control, and the
intercontinental transportation of products increases, maritime shipping and
aviation are becoming increasingly important areas for emission control. National
governments can take action to control such emissions, but international
agreements and enforcement practicalities limit the extent of any such unilateral
action. Coordinated international action is needed through, and in support of,
IMO and ICAO.
An important success for European policy has been the use of product
standards, particularly in the transport section (the ?Euro? emission standards).
With the increasingly global nature of production and distribution of products,
there is an increased need for linkage and coordination of product standards to
achieve emission control ? aiming for the widespread adoption of best practice.
Thank you.