Welcome to the United Nations
Transport and Climate

Sustainable transport solutions to the climate crisis

Saturday, 26 November, 4:30 – 6:00 P.M.

Lead entity: Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific


Climate change is of major concern to the future livelihoods of the  peoples of this planet. While transport  plays a critical role in economic and social development, the transport sector, as one of the top consumers of fossil fuels, is a major contributor to air pollution and generates  a variety of emissions that impact the climate. Transport systems are responsible for around 26  per cent of globally emitted greenhouse gases, mainly through the burning of fossil fuels, representing around 30 per cent of all fossil fuel use. It is estimated that investing in better end-­‐use fuel and electricity efficiency in transport use can help cut emissions in the sector by nearly 30 percent by 2050 (IEA 2012)

Climate change has in turn impacts  on critical transport  infrastructure worldwide. Given the potential  for climate related damage, disruption and delay to transport across closely interconnected global  supply  chains, enhancing the climate resilience of critical transport infrastructure is of strategic importance. Transport systems are under threat from the effects of climate change and the extreme events that will be more frequent in the future. Therefore, it is essential to reduce fossil fuel consumption and emissions from transport (mitigation) and at the same  time make transport system and services resilient to impacts of climate events (adaptation).

Finding sustainable transport solutions, including enhanced measures to reduce emissions, adequate climate change mitigation and adaptation, will  therefore be central to meeting the ambitious goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. Technology and innovation, inter-­‐modal links and systems, and   robust commitment to public transport will all be vital components of a low carbon transport future as it is estimated that power and transport account for 60 percent of the investments needed and for accelerating the low-­‐carbon transition (Meltzer, 2016).

This session will discuss both mitigation and adaptation strategies and measures  at international, regional, national and urban levels. It will present solutions to the climate change by discussing how to streamline national and city strategy and policy and improve plans and  applications of new innovative technologies. Specific measures will also be discussed such as alternate fuels, deployment of intelligent transport systems, improved urban public transport, and climate impact adaptive resilient transportation systems. The role of international conventions and standards relating to missions from transport  will also be discussed.

Possible questions  for discussion:

1. What measures  or actions have been taken nationally to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector? How effective were the measures or actions? Whether specific goals or targets on tackling climate change have been included in national and urban transport development strategy and policy? What are challenges in formulating and implementing the strategy and policy? Natural  disasters and  climate events lead to damage to transport infrastructure. What are your new policy initiates to safeguard and adapt transport systems?

2. What are emerging innovations in the transport sector – to make the system more sustainable? How would you see the technology evolving in 20 years? Would we see more electric cars or more deployment of intelligent transport systems and more efficient public transportation systems? How do countries and cities  need to develop their transportation systems while honoring their global commitments to the SDGs, the Paris Agreement and other climate related commitments?


3. What needs to be done  to reduce sectoral emissions? How effective are the conventions and standards made at national, regional and global levels in reduction of greenhouse gas emissions? What can be done to further help reduce emission at all levels?