For the first time in the United Nations series of Climate Change COP negotiations, transport was included as a part of the official programme. The transport focus session was one of seven from the Lima Paris Action Agenda (LPAA), designed to bring state and non-state actors together on the global stage with the aim of accelerating cooperative climate action now and into the future. All major modes of transport were included in the discussions.
The session was moderated by Simon Upton, Environment Director, OECD, and opening with an address by Ségolène Royal, Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, France. Other speakers included
- Violeta Bulc, Commissioner for Transport, European Commission
- Alain Vidalies, Minister for Transport, France
- Mahmoud ben Romdhane, Minister of Transport, Tunisia
- Hanne BjurstrØm, Minister, Special Envoy for Climate Change, Norway
- Cristian Bowen Garfias, Undersecretary of Transportation, Chile
- José Viegas, Secretary General, International Transport Forum
- Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chair, Global Environment Facility
- Mohamed Najib Boulif, Deputy Minister for Equipment, Transport and Logistics, Morocco
UIC Director General Jean-Pierre was invited to join a panel on stage to present the rail sectors action to provide solutions to climate change, including the UIC low carbon rail transport challenge, the UIC railway climate responsibility pledge and the Train to Paris project. These actions set out rail sector targets at the global level, to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and achieve a more sustainable balance between transport modes.
Mr Loubinoux stated “to make a real impact we must reduce total transport emissions. This means achieving a more sustainable balance between transport modes. Rail transport is the most emissions efficient major mode of land transport. Already today, the electrified rail system uses significant quantities of renewable energy”.
European Commissioner for Transport Viloeta Bulc identified four pillars for transport action, improving efficiency, use of low carbon & renewable energy for transport, better organisation of transport (internalisation of external costs) & common engagement for behaviour change. These are notable because they align closely with the three targets included in the UIC low carbon rail transport challenge.
For more information on the UIC Low Carbon Rail Transport Challenge please see http://newsroom.unfccc.int/lpaa/transport/low-carbon-sustainable-rail-transport-challenge/
For more information on UIC advocacy in association with COP21 please see http://www.traintoparis.org/ & @traincop21
The COP21 conference will conclude on Friday 11 December http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en/learn/what-is-cop21/