United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

United States of America - Short version

United States Department of State
Washington, D.C.
Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
UN Commission on Sustainable Development ? 19
Thematic Discussion: Transport
Intervention for March 1, Morning Session
Intervention Delivered by: Karen Laughlin, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The United States has prepared extended remarks for distribution from which I will draw key points this morning.
This year, the United States calls for integration of good institutions, partnerships, technological innovation, and communication technologies to address three critical transportation challenges: Achieving Health, Climate, and Energy Security Benefits from Emissions Reductions Innovating Goods Movement Systems for Energy Efficiency, Cost Effectiveness, and Reduced Pollution Place-based Policies that Leverage Investment to Build Smart Communities
We all face the challenge of health, environmental, and energy security impacts as our mobility needs increase. Successful solutions target vehicles, engines, fuels, and operators and depend on collaboration between government, manufacturers, researchers, planners, and citizens. Strong national programs will best address transportation emissions, drawing on a mix of policy options, such as regulatory measures, voluntary programs, and technological investment appropriate to national circumstance. We know that regulatory programs must (1) provide industry certainty, (2) be technologically feasible, and (3) be enforceable at a practical level. Indeed, these elements
underlie our first U.S. greenhouse gas standards finalized for light-duty vehicles and proposed for heavy-duty vehicles. International and domestic voluntary programs have proven very successful. We commend the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles work to get the lead out of fuels and to lower sulfur in fuels. We stress that lower sulfur levels must coincide with cleaner engine technology. Our National Clean Diesel Campaign builds on diesel emissions regulatory success in reducing health impacts by further targeting diesel emissions in minority and disadvantaged communities.
Research, development, and deployment underpin technological advancement for cleaner transportation. To lay groundwork to transition from fossil-fuel-based transportation, we are extensively investing in electric vehicles, advanced batteries, and charging infrastructure R&D.
The goods movement supply chain has grown into an energy-intensive, worldwide network of freight transactions. This is an opportunity to harness powerful market drivers for technologies and strategies to achieve fuel savings and bolster competitiveness while improving energy security and reducing emissions. Our freight sector benefits from EPA?s SmartWay Transport Partnership, a market-based program leveraging the private sector to meet these public goals. SmartWay is now a model for similar efforts in China, Australia, the EU, Canada, and Mexico.
The North America Emission Control Area approved by the International Maritime Organization, requiring large ships to use dramatically cleaner fuel and technologies. We echo France?s call to harness the energy-efficiency, low-emission, and safety of river transport.
Cities, towns, and rural communities face unique and dynamic transportation, housing, and environmental circumstances. National, state, and local investment coordination improves transportation choices, reduces miles traveled, protects air and water, relieves congestion. The
United States is pursuing a place-based federal policy initiative to support and shape land use and infrastructure investments. Our Partnership for Sustainable Communities helps rural, suburban, and urban families access affordable housing and transportation options while protecting the environment ? effectively tying quality and location of transportation to broader access to good jobs, quality schools, and safe streets. We also highlight that programs to increase use and safety of walking and biking in rural and urban areas increase transportation choices and improve public health..
Finally, we echo the value of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as means to affordable, accessible, safe, reliable transportation. I take this opportunity to highlight New York City?s BRT advances and invite you to ride the new BRT line down 1st and 2nd Avenues, carrying 54,000 weekday riders.
In closing, the United States calls on the international community to bring to bear good governance, strategic partnerships, innovative solutions, and communication technologies to achieve a cleaner sustainable transportation sector for the 21st century.
Thank you.