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Transport sector unites against carbon emissions

May 23 2016 17:17
Carin Smith

Leipzig – The International Transport Forum (ITF) has officially launched a major global initiative towards carbon-free transport.

The initiative involves more than 40 partners and supporting organisations and was launched at the ITF’s global summit of transport ministers in Leipzig, Germany, on Thursday.

The wide range of partners in the project includes private sector companies, multilateral development banks, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs and research institutions.

“The inclusive nature of this project is a central feature and key factor for its success,” said Jose Viegas, secretary general of the ITF.

It is estimated that the transport industry currently contributes 23% of global carbon emissions from fossil fuels. This percentage is expected to increase even more in future.

Viegas explained that the COP 21 agreement in Paris has created a political pathway for global carbon mitigation efforts.

“The key is to close the gaps between commitments and delivery. It is now up to the transport sector to demonstrate how carbon-free mobility can be achieved,” said Viegas.

At the same time, he regards the new global decarbonising of transport project as very ambitious, but emphasised that it is this kind of ambition which the world needs to stop climate change.

“Ambition is also something that has characterised the transport sector throughout its long history,” added Viegas.

“Our challenge is to reduce transport carbon emissions without sacrificing the access and opportunities offered by transport – in this way keeping our societies together ad making our economies turn.”

Michael Kloth, head of communication at the ITF, told Fin24 that the decarbonising project wants to provide a common assessment tool based on a comprehensive modelling framework and supported by dialogue with key stakeholders.

This is especially important in order to ensure transparency and a common understanding of the requirements related to the Paris agreement for carbon emissions. It will also enable measurements of carbon reduction in the transport industry.

“The idea is to have a tool for policy makers at national level and also for industry when it sets goals. We want the tool to be ready by about 2018/2019,” said Kloth.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) applauded the decarbonising of transport project.

“Governments must have the tools to understand whether or not policy is working as intended. Robust, responsive tools give policymakers a better sense of what can be accomplished,” said Figueres.

• Fin24 was a guest of the IFT at its global summit.

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itf  |  transport  |  carbon emissions

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