Information published on 24 May 2016 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 500.

UIC participated in the International Transport Forum (ITF) from 18 – 20 May 2016 in Leipzig

  • International Organisation

UIC actively participated in the 2016 Summit of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) held from 18 to 20 May 2016 in Leipzig, Germany, under the Presidency of Hans Christian Schmidt, Transport Minister of Denmark.

This year, over the course of three days, more than 1,000 participants from 70 countries attended the International Transport Forum Summit. Among them 38 Ministers and Vice Ministers, as well as leaders from the economy and transport industry, representatives from international organisations, awareness associations and international media who met and discussed together the central role played by transport for societies in the framework of 55 sessions and events.

ITF’s 2016 Summit organised this year on the theme of “Green and Inclusive Transport” explored the importance of low-carbon transport as an essential element in the transition to a green growth economy as well as the changes needed to make transport more inclusive.

Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director-General of UIC, was invited by ITF to represent the global rail sector and express the intrinsic benefits from the railway sector.

The transport sector currently represents around 25% of CO2 emissions and the outlook for the mobility of goods and people is expected to increase over the coming decades.
At global level it is essential that transport commits to finding ways to reduce CO2 emissions as well as energy consumption.
Against this background, the railway represents 2% of this 25% and is therefore a particularly efficient and sustainable mode of transport.

A number of efforts have already been made to achieve this result; however during COP21, UIC on behalf of the world’s networks issued a declaration to reduce these emissions and energy consumption even further and to promote modal shift. This modal shift is part of a new strategy of inclusive transport policy and a new mix of transport modes aiming to maximise the advantages of each mode in conjunction with one another. This is thus a logistics chain which aims to improve its energy performance and in this context the railways form an important backbone for intercity routes or for large inter-regional and inter-continental corridors in conjunction with the other most relevant modes to promote either urban penetration or access in precautionary areas, or complimentary with maritime routes between ports, or flight paths between airports.

During two different sessions, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux expressed the railway view at global level:

Plenary session on “Infrastructure renewal for greener and more inclusive transport”

He said:

“Railway projects provide the backbone of sustainable transport systems – these provide the high levels of transport capacity and efficiency but come with a need for a long term planning and construction programme. For every dollar invested in a new railway, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission per passenger-km is 100 times lower than if that dollar was spent on a new road – IEA analysis.

He added:

“There is no space in this world for infrastructure that is not interoperable, both technically and administratively."

Restricted Ministers’ Round Table: “Preparing for major disruptions to transport systems”

This Round Table provided an opportunity for UIC to express the railway view at the worldwide level concerning the priorities for intervention during disruption to minimise the human and economic cost of disruptions, the keys to making supply chains robust and able to respond quickly to disruption, or the opportunities that digital data can provide for better understanding stresses and better adapting the transport system to extreme events.

UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux stressed:

“In these such circumstances of disruptions, whatever the nature of them, terrorism, climate change effects, we have to remain modest and keep in mind three steps: anticipation, thanks to technology (sensors, cameras, etc ..) and education; coordination between actors; reaction, which is the key, as time is invaluable and as time is life. UIC, which produces standards, integrating all the elements necessary to the overall comprehension / operation of the railway system at the worldwide level, benchmarking experience or crisis scenarios which are good sources of information and learning to progress. And in this context, digital can help but planning everything … is not the solution and the human dimension must prevail and education is important."

Launch of the Global Decarbonising Transport Project

During the 2016 ITF edition, a declaration from Ministers was made (http://www.itf-oecd.org/sites/default/files/docs/2016-05-19-declaration-from-ministers-on-green-and-inclusive-transport.pdf) and the transport sector also officially launched the Global Decarbonising Transport Project, involving UIC.

ITF Secretary General José Viegas said:
““This is a very ambitious project. But ambition is what the world needs to stop climate change. Ambition is also something that has characterised the transport sector throughout its long history of innovation. Our challenge is to reduce transport CO2 without sacrificing the access and opportunities offered by transport, keeping our societies together and making our economies turn.””

The Decarbonising Transport project aims to:

  • Provide a common assessment tool based on a comprehensive modelling framework supported by dialogue with key stakeholders. This is essential for “clarity, transparency and understanding” of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions as required in the Paris Agreement for carbon emissions. This approach will enable the ITF and its partners to evaluate the impacts of different sets of measures on carbon reduction. Enable countries and other stakeholders to translate roadmaps into actions that deliver results grounded in quantitative data.
  • Support actions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals along with the decarbonisation of the transport sector. The Decarbonising Transport project is supported by a wide range of stakeholders, including private sector companies, multilateral development banks, intergovernmental organisations, sector associations, NGOs and research institutions. It is anchored in the ITF’s Corporate Partnership Board, the organisation’s platform for discussions with the private sector.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) applauded the Decarbonising Transport initiative and said: “Governments must have the tools to understand whether or not policy is working as intended, and robust, responsive tools give policymakers a better sense of what can be accomplished. I welcome the launch of the Decarbonising Transport project. This common assessment tool […] should unite the transport sector worldwide in the push towards climate neutrality.”

The preliminary results of the project will be presented at the next ITF Summit in May 2017. The work will be completed by 2018/19, in time for the first round of reviews of the COP21 decarbonisation targets in 2020.

A video interview of Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux is available here: http://2016.itf-oecd.org/videos

For further information please visit the ITF website: http://2016.itf-oecd.org/