Welcome to the United Nations
Transport and SDGs

Sustainable transport at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals

Saturday, 26 November, 3:00 – 4:30 P.M.

Lead entity: World Bank

By 2030, there will be more than 1 billion more people on earth, and aspirations for mobility will continue to rise. Passenger traffic, for example, is expected to exceed 80,000 billion  passenger-­‐ kilometers—about a 50% increase (figure 1). Freight volume is expected to grow by more than 70%. And the dollar value of global digital information flows already exceeds that of goods.

Many actors have made voluntary financial  and operational commitments to ensure sustainable mobility.  For example: 

•  Multilateral development banks have committed  more than $175 billion in loans and grants for transport in developing countries  over the coming decade (2013–22).

•  At  COP21, more  than 260 companies in the  transportation industry pledged to reduce their contribution to global  emissions. 

•  More than 70% of  countries have targeted transport for reducing their GHG emissions in their nationally determined contribution. 

•  Fifteen transport initiatives emerged from the Lima-­‐Paris Action Agenda process to reduce the carbon footprint of an estimated  half of all passenger and freight trips by 2025. 

•  More than 80 cities (as part of C40) are tackling climate change and climate risk.

However, these efforts have been insufficient to generate the scale and focus to transform the world’s mobility. On the development side, the large investments to  date  in high-­‐carbon transport have generated huge  social,  health, environmental, and economic losses associated with traffic congestion, pollution, noise, and road accidents—an estimated average reduction of 2% to 10% in country-­‐level GDP. These losses will  rise as the automobile market grows and land use remains poorly controlled: By 2050, the number of vehicles on the road will have doubled to 2 billion. More than 1 billion people still lack access to all-­‐weather roads and transport services—a major barrier to social and economic advancement. Adequate public transport remains unaffordable to a large population in major cities in the world. Road deaths (per 100,000 population) increased by 32% in low-­‐income countries between 2010 and 2013. 70% of fuel energy is lost in engine and driveline inefficiencies. In low income countries, suppl  chains efficiency is deteriorating.

On the climate action side, we are not yet on  track to stabilize global warming at less than 2 degrees Celsius. As transport is already responsible for 23% of energy-­‐related GHG emissions, the sector has the potential to derail the process of economic and social development in the world if today’s transport and related investments build-­‐in a high-­‐carbon future.

With the endorsement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), the global community has committed itself to bold and ambitious action. It has pledged to realize a vision in which transport sustainably moves people and goods across towns and across the globe. In this vision, sustainability has the following key characteristics:

• Cities will facilitate the access to jobs and opportunities of all, including women, young people, and vulnerable groups. 

• Rural areas will connect men and women toeconomic and social  pportunities.

• Landlocked developing countries will be provided with swift access to neighboring and overseas markets.

• Countries will support  further trade and economic integration.

Recent global commitments set a high bar for success in transforming the world’s mobility in the next 10 to 15 years; they are also diverse and complex. Sustainable transport plays a key  role in achieving the SDGs 1 and 2, no poverty and agricultural productivity, with the provision of connected road access; SDG 3, good health and well-­‐being with reduction in road crashes (Target 3.6), and pollution (Target 3.9); SDG 7, affordable and clean energy through energy efficiency of transport (Target 7.3); SDG 8, economic growth and full and productive employment; SDG 9, industry, innovation and infrastructure with sustainable infrastructure or  all (Target 9.1); SDG 11, sustainable cities and communities with sustainable urban public transport systems (Target 11.2); SDG 12, responsible production and consumption with reductions in fuel subsidies (Target 12.2) and also reduction in food loss and waste (Target 12.3);. SDG 13 climate action with contributions to climate change adaptation (Target 13.1),  and climate hange mitigation  (Target 13.2); and SDG 14 on oceans, seas  and marine resources. The Paris  climate agreement is also highly relevant—and sensitive—to transport, which is responsible for 23% of energy-­‐related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and thus is key to reducing the global  emissions trajectory. To add to the complexity, a number of country-­‐level commitments on reducing GHG emissions must be factored in. The global vision for a coordinated approach to sustainable transport and the complexity of this arena  should  be backed by a rigorous global tracking framework. Transport now has a unique opportunity to buttress its vision with accountability and thereby, like the energy sector, elevate itself in global discussions on sustainable development. The energy sector developed such a global tracking as part of the 2011 Sustainable Energy for All (SE 4 All) initiative. Tracking was built around  three energy objectives for 2030: universal access to modern energy, doubling the share of renewable energy i  the global energy mix, and doubling the rate of improvement of energy efficiency over time. Such a tracking system was included because effective monitoring of progress was  onsidered  essential to sustaining political commitments on the global energy agenda over the next 15 years. The tracking framework became instrumental in mainstreaming energy into global discussions on sustainable development and supplied the credibility and reliability required to attract private and development finance partners.

Possible questions for discussion: 

1. Sustainable  transport  drives poverty eradication and sustainable development. How do you achieve this at the local level, national level, and global level? How do you account for the specific needs of countries in special situations? How do you account for the needs of vulnerable groups such as women, children, persons with disability and the elderly? 

2. What are the top 3 actions you  could take to achieve sustainable transport in the next 15 years? Which SDG would be most impacted? How  do transport entities need  to organize  themselves to maximize  their impact  as a community? 

3. The SDG HLAG report recommends establishing monitoring and evaluation frameworks for sustainable transport based on sound and reliable data and statistics. Achieving targets requires measurement and tracking-­‐-­‐you can’t achieve something if  you can’t measure it. Do  you think the transport related SDG targets  are well measured or are we on track to measure them by 2020? SDG 7 has effectively used a Global Tracking Fram  ork as their monitoring tool, could transport benefit from a similar instrument?