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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development
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Sustainable transport

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The role of transport in sustainable development was first recognized at the 1992 United Nation’s Earth Summit and reinforced in its outcome document – Agenda 21. In undertaking the five-year review of the implementation of Agenda 21 during its nineteenth Special Session in 1997, the UN General Assembly further noted that, over the next twenty years, transportation would be expected to be the major driving force behind a growing world demand for energy (Indeed, it is now the largest end-use of energy in developed countries and the fastest growing one in most developing countries). Further, at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, the role of transport was once again captured in the outcome document - the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI). JPOI provided multiple anchor points for sustainable transport, in the context of infrastructure, public transport systems, goods delivery networks, affordability, efficiency and convenience of transportation, as well as improving urban air quality and health, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The global attention to transport has continued in recent years. World leaders recognized unanimously at the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) that transportation and mobility are central to sustainable development. Sustainable transportation can enhance economic growth and improve accessibility. Sustainable transport achieves better integration of the economy while respecting the environment. improving social equity, health, resilience of cities, urban-rural linkages and productivity of rural areas

Subsequently, the UN Secretary-General, as part of his Five-Year Action Agenda, identified transport as a major component of sustainable development. To this end, the Secretary General established and launched in August 2014 a High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport (HLAG-ST), representing all modes of transport including road, rail, aviation, marine, ferry, and urban public transport providers. The policy recommendations of the Advisory Group were submitted to the Secretary-General in a global sustainable transport outlook report, entitled "Mobilizing Sustainable Transport for Development", released at the first Global Sustainable Transport Conference in November 2016.

The importance of sustainable transport for countries in special situations is also recognized by the international community, through the Istanbul Programme of Action for the LDCs, the Vienna Programme of Action for the LLDCs, the SAMOA Pathway for SIDS, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the New Urban Agenda.

In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, sustainable transport is mainstreamed across several SDGs and targets, especially those related to food security, health, energy, economic growth, infrastructure, and cities and human settlements. The importance of transport for climate action is further recognized under the UNFCCC - the transport sector will be playing a particularly important role in the achievement of the Paris Agreement, given the fact close to a quarter of energy-related global greenhouse gas emissions come from transport and that these emissions are projected to grow substantially in the years to come.

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Displaying 61 - 75 of 175
Title Type Date
New UN group seeks solutions for harnessing rising investments in transport while reducing harmful… Press releases 18-Nov-2014
SD in Action Newsletter, October 2014 Other documents 17-Oct-2014
Secretary-General’s High-level Group discusses Sustainable Transport Press releases 2-Oct-2014
UN Press release - Secretary-General's High-level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport Press releases 26-Sep-2014
UN Press release - SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS 12 MEMBERS OF GOVERNMENT, CIVIL SOCIETY, PRIVATE SECTOR TO… Press releases 11-Aug-2014
Outcome Document - Introduction to the Proposal of the Open Working Group for Sustainable Development Goals Outcome Documents 19-Jul-2014
Summary of Side Event - Results Framework for Sustainable Transport Side events 16-May-2014
Summary of the Co-Chairs - Open Working Group on SDGs - Seventh Session Outcome Documents 21-Mar-2014
UNDG People’s Voices Issue Brief to the SDG 7th Open Working Group Additional Resources 6-Jan-2014
TST Issues Brief: Sustainable Transport Technical Support Team (TST) Issues Briefs 21-Nov-2013
Summary of the Consultation for Decision-Makers on Implementing Sustainable Transport Outcome Documents 22-Oct-2013
Aide Memoire Consultation for Sustainable Transport Other documents 17-Sep-2013
Programme for Berlin High-Level Dialogue (Chinese) Other documents 28-Jun-2013
Programme for Berlin High-Level Dialogue Other documents 28-May-2013
Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, for the program brochure Other documents 9-Apr-2013
Displaying 61 - 75 of 244
Title Category Date Sort ascending
Montenegro and Slovenia Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport 7-Jan-2014
A Safe & Sustainable Post-2015 Development Agenda Co-chairs' meetings with Major Groups 7-Jan-2014
FIA Foundation Co-chairs' meetings with Major Groups 7-Jan-2014
Major Group: Local Authorities Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport 7-Jan-2014
Sustainable Development Goals for Transport Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport 7-Jan-2014
Japan Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport 7-Jan-2014
Major Group: NGOs Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport 7-Jan-2014
Bangladesh Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport 7-Jan-2014
Poland and Romania Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport 7-Jan-2014
A Safe & Sustainable Post-2015 Development Agenda Co-chairs' meetings with Major Groups 7-Jan-2014
Iran Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport 7-Jan-2014
Canada, Israel and United States of America Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport 6-Jan-2014
Peru and Mexico Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport 6-Jan-2014
India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport 6-Jan-2014
Italy, Spain and Turkey Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport 6-Jan-2014