United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Sustainable transport


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 91 - 105 of 172
Title Type Date
Aide-Memoire Logistics 4-Sep-2011
Expert Group Meeting booklet Other documents 4-Sep-2011
Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forum for Latin American Region (Foro de transporte… Other documents 4-Sep-2011
Synthesis Paper: Global taxi schemes and their integration on sustainable urban transport systems Other documents 4-Sep-2011
CSD18/2010/BP4 - Paving the Way to Sustainable Consumption and Production - Marrakech Process Progress Report… Background papers/Special studies 1-Jun-2011
CSD-9: BR No. 10 - Tendencias y Politicas Referente a los Sistemas de Transporte de las Ciudades de… Other documents 1-Jun-2011
CSD18/2010/BP1 (French) - IRU Background papers/Special studies 1-Jun-2011
E/CN.17/2001/16 - Report of the Inter-sessional Ad Hoc Working Group on Transport and Atmosphere Meeting reports 20-May-2011
Conclusions & Recommendations (Rio de Janeiro) Outcome Documents 18-May-2011
Programme (Rio de Janeiro) Logistics 18-May-2011
CSD18/2010/BP16 - United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Work in the area of chemicals, including… Background papers/Special studies 3-May-2011
CSD19/2011/BP9 - Transport and Sustainable Development in the ESCWA Region Background papers/Special studies 2-May-2011
CSD19/2011/BP2 - "Technology and Policy Options for making transport systems more sustainable"… Background papers/Special studies 2-May-2011
CSD19/2011/BP8 - Bicycle Sharing Schemes: Enhancing Sustainable Mobility in Urban Areas Background papers/Special studies 2-May-2011
CSD19/2011/BP4 - Policies and legal options to promote the energy efficiency of private motor vehicles"… Background papers/Special studies 2-May-2011
Displaying 91 - 105 of 244
Title Category Date Sort ascending
Ms. Judit Sandor, Sustainability and Environment Manager UN IFE - the European Rail… Parallel Session 1B 21-Jun-2013
Mr. Patrick Kayemba, Executiva Dirac:tor, FABIO, Kampala, Uganda Parallel Session 1A 21-Jun-2013
Ms. Caroline Reichert, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Group Operations, Head of Mobility, France… Parallel Session 1A 21-Jun-2013
Mr. Nick Craven, Manager of Unit Sustainable Development, International Union of… Parallel Session 1A 21-Jun-2013
Mr. Hasso Georg Grünjes, Infrastructure & Cities Sector, Siemens AG Parallel Session 5 20-Jun-2013
Mr. Francois-Joseph Van Audenhove, Partner, Head Travel & Transportation Practice,… Parallel Session 3 20-Jun-2013
Dr. Helmar Rendez, Head of BU Distribution and Chairman of the Management Board,… Parallel Session 5 20-Jun-2013
Mr. Naoki Mimuro, Chief Representative of the City of Yokohama in Europe Parallel Session 4 20-Jun-2013
Mr. Tadashi Matsumoto, Senior Policy Analyst, Organization for Economic Cooperation and… Parallel Session 4 20-Jun-2013
Ms. Silvia Isabela Breu, Director, Oeiras Municipal Development Office, Portugal Part II: Best Practices in Sustainable Urban Development and Eco-cities 20-Jun-2013
Mr. Lawrie Robertson, Director of Strategic Planning, Buro Happold Parallel Session 4 20-Jun-2013
Ms. Tibleste Asgedom, Bureau Vice Head, Addis Ababa City Administration Road &… Parallel Session 4 20-Jun-2013
Mr. Lu Haifeng, Secretary-General, Global Forum for Human Settlements (GFHS) Part I: Initiatives in Sustainable Cities 20-Jun-2013
Dr. Stephan Herbst, General Manager Energy Research Group (Toyota) Parallel Session 3 20-Jun-2013
Ms. Pam O’Connor, Mayor, City of Santa Monica, California, USA High-Level Morning Plenary Session 20-Jun-2013