Transport systems are one of the major pollution sources. They are responsible for the emissions of one quarter of world greenhouse gases. What should governments do to persuade their citizens to replace traditional cars with electric ones and bicycles, or to use public transport more often? These questions are raised at the first Global Sustainable Transport Conference. It takes place this weekend in the Turkmen capital Ashgabat.
The Forum was opened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
“This conference is more than about sustainable transport. Ultimately, we here for people, including our children and grandchildren. Achieving sustainable transport is necessary to realize our vision of a world that is safer and healthier for all people, and to protect our only home – planet Earth”.
The conference, held under the aegis of the United Nations, brought together the representatives from rail, road, aviation and maritime industries. During the two days of the forum, high-ranking officials and heads of the biggest international transport corporations and associations are going to discuss the issues of rural transport, green urban transport systems, and, most importantly – sustainable transport solutions to the climate crisis. According to the participants of the conference, technology and innovation, inter-modal links and systems, and a robust commitment to public transport will become vital components of a low-carbon transport future.
Another key topic of the conference is investment in sustainable transport. According to an expert panel report delivered to the UN Secretary-General in October, the volume of annual investment in green transport must be around US$2 trillion. However, in future investment in sustainable transport systems can lead to fuel savings and lower operational costs, – experts say. As a result, it can deliver savings of up to US$70 trillion by 2050.