Wednesday 17 November 2021

The official UNFCCC side event on Sustainable Mobility and Just Recovery: radical collaboration for an effective transformation was held on 9 November at COP26

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The event was jointly hosted by UIC with SLOCAT Partnership, UITP and Asociation Sustentar.

The panel of sustainable stakeholders was composed of Henk Swarttouw, President of European Cyclists’ Federation; Elisabetta Tromellini, Director CSR-Sustainability FNM Group (Milan), Frédéric Delorme, President of Rail Logistics Europe SNCF, Roberto Capuano, General Director of Metrobús, CDMX, and Rana Adib, Executive Director REN21; and moderated by Carolina Chantrill, Director of Sustainable Mobility of the Asociation Sustentar.

The session focused on collaboration to deliver a better-linked transport system but also with other sectors, especially energy, cities, urban planning and civic society.

They discussed the main challenges facing integration of all the transport modes in a sustainable way including rail with cycling and other public transport. For European cities, the take up of more cycling is prevented by issues of road safety. Cycling is a way to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions for the transport sector and a great partnership with rail for the last and first mile.

It was agreed by the panel that there is a need to build an intermodal system in which all modes of transport are linked to each other. A digital transition is essential for better integration of the transport system making the most of the emerging platforms that will allow for shared ticketing and information systems, making travel by rail and public transport easier than ever. For this to happen, it is necessary to have a basic infrastructure in terms of legal frameworks. The panel added that it would be beneficial to all to share best practices and standards and learn- from different experiences but always try to take a local approach to that.

Frédéric Delorme of SNCF made the point that the high potential of rail freight for modal shift has been underestimated in Europe. The difference between rail and road has been highlighted, rail freight is available as 90% of the tonne kilometres use electrical power in France but the freight train is not visible and has a problem of brand image.

Public transport authorities, state and regulators have to work together concerning freight transportation. They emphasised the need to collaborate with trucks and road transport to increase awareness of general public and to push green solutions from door to door, and to gather goods on platforms close to the cities.

The discussion underlined that the transport sector represents 30% of the total final energy consumption. Clean renewable fuels must be a priority focus of the sector.

There is a long way to go to move to fully decarbonise the transport sector and there are many opportunities for the sectors to work closely with each other.

Only 3 countries worldwide drive electrification of the transport sector and push for the development of renewable energy. It is necessary to think through the integration from the beginning and to think about indicators between transport sectors to develop joint strategies.

To rewatch the webinar:

See more about the UIC activities during COP:

For further information, please contact Lucie Anderton at

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