A UIC delegation was invited to board the “Train to Bonn” dedicated train, coordinated by Deutsch Bahn on 4 November 2017. UIC was represented by a small delegation including its Director General, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux.
The event welcomed on board politicians such as Dr Barbara Hendricks, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety as well as DB employees, non-profit organisations and representatives of the private sector as well as international organisations like UIC. The “Train to Bonn” was organised with different coaches with a specific conference area in the centre. Throughout the day speakers from different countries took the floor in front of an active audience.
Dr Richard Lutz, CEO of Deutsche Bahn AG, presented DB commitments to fight climate change, including: fifty percent less CO2 emitted by 2030 and long-distance transport to use 100% renewable power starting in 2018. “There is one mother earth, take action now”, he said.
Apart from transport commitments, the train was also the opportunity to raise awareness about oceans – the important theme this year under the Fiji presidency of COP23, in the presence on board of Tafue Lusama, President of Red Cross society of Tuvalu and Frances Namoumou, from the Pacific Church Council. Representatives of the Fiji islands and spokespersons from the Pacific islands presented their views on the urgency of actions to fight climate change and prevent the rise of sea levels.
Topics from effects of climate change to resilience, mitigation and adaptation were debated, as well as corporate and public partnerships, and insurance aspects and actions on the ground, in the face of climate change in developed and developing countries.
UIC took the opportunity during this trip to emphasise UIC’s global perspective on the importance of railways in the fight against climate change. UIC acknowledged the announcement as well regarding DB setting new ambitious climate protection targets ahead of COP23. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, General Director of UIC said about this news: “that those targets are a perfect fit and compliment the UIC targets.” UIC declared major collaborations in 2017, one with the International Energy Agency with the annual publication of the Railway Handbook and the collaboration with the International Railway Journal for a Global Register of Modal Shift projects. After stressing the importance of investment in rail, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux reminded the audience of the successful work of UIC in the discussion around mitigation and especially adaptation with dedicated workshops in London, Beijing and Agadir in 2017.
UIC Director General concluded his speech by wishing a successful two weeks to all negotiators for this COP23 “where the interests of all the people of the world come together”.
UIC at COP23
The conference of parties is taking place from 6 – 17 November in Bonn. As in previous editions, UIC is actively participating as an accredited organisation by the United Nations.
On 9 November, UIC will participate in the Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation side event from 3pm to 4.30pm in the Bonn zone. Nicholas Craven, Head of the Sustainable Unit will contribute to the high-level panel on measuring adaptation.
On 10 November, UIC will host a side event with Eurelectric (Union of the Electricity Industry) and UITP (International Union of Public Transport) in the Bonn Zone from 4.45pm to 6.15pm: Bright Future: The Value of Electricity for a Decarbonised Economy and Transport Sector. The event will bring together representatives from electricity and sustainable transport sectors, industry, investors and civil society, to engage on value of electrification for sustainable global development.
Speakers will present strategic low-carbon electricity projects showing potential of electrification in sustainable transport.
UIC will strongly contribute to the Transport Thematic Day on 11 November in the Bonn Zone from 9am to 16.45pm. Global Climate Action (GCA) Transport Thematic Day will take stock of recent developments and through a combination of plenary and more in-depth sessions on specific topics arrive at recommendations for countries, and other stakeholders that can guide the transport sector in the development of effective actions on transport and climate change. UIC will coordinate sessions on Sustainable Freight at 11.30am and Adaptation at 13.45. The full programme can be found here:
On 13 November, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC will participate in the High-Level Event Global Climate Action Agenda in the session: Creating Green and Inclusive Transport for Liveable and Resilient Cities. This event will focus on sustainable transport development opportunities as envisaged by the sustainable development goal 11.2. The whole High-Level event will show how the engagement of Human Settlements stakeholders has shifted into an implementation phase since the adoption of the Paris Agreement (PA) and the Sustainable Development Goal on Cities and Human Settlements (SDG11). The different sessions will highlight efforts to mainstream activities into a one action agenda. Transport plays a significant role in shaping cities and as the urgency to develop liveable and resilient cities grows, it is increasingly important to implement green and inclusive transport measures.
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