UIC advocate for pre-2020 action to support rail as the backbone of sustainable transport and a part of the answer to climate change at the United Nations High-Level Action Event Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda, 23 March 2017.
UIC were invited to participate at a High-Level Action Event on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda. Opening addresses were given by the President of the UN General Assembly H.E Peter Thompson, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Patricia Espinosa. The event was extended by half a day to accommodate supporting statements from national governments.
UIC were represented by Nick Craven, Manager of the Sustainable Development Unit, who participated in a workshop on pre 2020 action on climate and the sustainable development goals. 2020 will be a particularly critical year for a range of reasons, these include numerous scientific studies that have identified 2020 as an important threshold for emission reductions. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda includes a number of targets to be achieved by 2020, many national governments have chosen 2020 to benchmark their emissions and the UN climate process will require the resubmission of national plans for reduction of emissions and adaptation. In this context UIC highlighted the need for greater investment and action to support rail transport as the backbone of sustainable transport.
Discussions focused on how to build momentum and confidence with both the general public and political leaders to realise a more sustainable economic model. 2018 is considered to be a ‘trigger year’ as this will see important conclusions to the UN Paris agreement ‘rule book’ and stocktaking processes. The sustainable development community is to work towards a political momentum in 2020 which can be used to catalyse a shift towards sustainable policy and investment decisions. Rail is widely recognised as the backbone of sustainable transport and therefore an enabler of sustainable development. As such the rail sector can play an important supporting role in the transition to a more sustainable economic model and also gain from favourable policy and greater investment.