Wednesday 23 March 2022

Get on board: sustainable mobility in the Middle East and North Africa region – MENA Climate Week 2022

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On 28 March, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Climate Week will begin in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The MENA Climate Week will accelerate collaboration and integrate climate action into global pandemic recovery in the region. Building forward opens up an opportunity to address social inequality and invest in economic development that is good for both humanity and nature.

UIC will represent the railways at the event, promoting rail and its critical role in a carbon-neutral future as set out in the UIC 2030 Vision “Design a better future” and its four key transformations:

  • Transforming cities and connecting communities: transport-oriented development, lighter trains and green city logistics creating liveable cities and connected communities
  • Energy, technology and innovation: rail takes a leading role in the race to zero carbon and the renewables revolution
  • Intermodality and seamless connection: radical innovations in physical and digital connectivity with other modes for a door-to-door service
  • Customer experience: cultural transformation of rail towards a more customer-focused service to meet the changing needs and behaviour of freight and passengers.

Almost 60% of the population of the MENA region lives in cities, with the population expected to double in the next 50 years. MENA’s urban populations are growing, and transport will be key for economic development, connectivity and urban-rural integration, as well as improving overall quality of life and equity. However, many cities in the region still have inadequate public transport systems that cannot support their growing populations or simply do not exist.

Using public transport and rail freight is one of the most effective actions to help reduce rising emissions from transport. Rail is key to more sustainable cities and economies in the MENA region. Considering the low energy and CO2 intensity of rail transport, shifting from more intensive modes such as trucks, private cars and airplanes to rail and public transport is a key strategy for net zero alignment. Furthermore, under the current policy trajectory, freight transport demand - currently responsible for more than 40% of all transport CO2 emissions - will increase 2.5-fold by 2050. A 1.5°C scenario will not be possible if both passenger and freight transport are shifted.

UIC is partnering with SLOCAT and UITP during the MENA Climate Week events to advance the debate on sustainable mobility in the MENA region. Experts from the region are invited to speak and share their vision for a greener future, with representatives from the Islamic Development Bank, the Transport General Authority of Saudi Arabia and the Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai, among others. Don’t miss the key events (local time in Dubai, UAE):

Tuesday, 29 March

  • 13:45 – 14:45 Side Event (11:45 – 12:45 Paris time) “Building the future of mobility: the shift to sustainable, low and zero emissions transport in the MENA region”
    Connexion link here

Wednesday, 30 March

  • 13h45 – 14h15 Action Hub (11:45 – 12:15 Paris time) “Transforming the way we move: building the future of mobility in the MENA region”
    Connexion link here
  • 16:00 – 17:30 Action Track 3, Urban Environment: (14:00 – 15:30 Paris time) “Unlocking the potential of transport and mobility to build sustainable cities”

Thursday, 31 March

  • 12:30 – 13:00 Action Hub (10:30 – 11:00 Paris time) “Get on board: the role of rail and public transport in a sustainable mobility system”
    Connexion link here

Register now for the MENA Climate Week via this link.

Please contact the UIC Sustainability Unit with any inquiries:

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