UITP and UNEP stress necessity of public transport for sustainable future

Posted: 8 June 2020 |

The organisations marked World Environment Day (5 June 2020) by issuing a Joint Statement about public transport and its contributions to climate reduction targets.

UITP and UNEP stress necessity of public transport for sustainable future

For World Environment Day (5 June 2020), the International Association for Public Transport (UITP) teamed up with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to deliver a Joint Statement on the necessity for cities to build back better with more public transport.

Signed by UITP Secretary General, Mohamed Mezhani, and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Inger Andersen, the Statement aimed to provide further details on the ways in which public transport builds a more sustainable world.

The Statement stressed that clean, efficient, and green public transport solutions reduce air pollution in cities, including CO2 emissions, arguing that public transport should therefore be part of climate action plans to reach global targets set by the Paris Agreement.

The Statement also outlined that public transport:

  • Gives city streets and allocates space back to the people and away from private cars, increasing the quality of life and green spaces in cities
  • Plays a key role in the economic re-development of cities and regions around the world throughout the COVID-19 recovery period.

“Investing in clean public transport also means better health, with less pollution, critical for more than 90 percent of the world’s population that currently live in areas where air pollution exceeds safe levels. While COVID-19 is by no means a victory lap for environmentalists, it is also time for us to seize on those moments of cleaner air and make them a non-negotiable part of our future. We cannot look to a cityscape of more than two-thirds of the world’s population by 2050, without affordable, clean and green transport,” the Statement read.

“This year’s World Environment Day calls for urgent action to protect biodiversity, the species that inhabit our planet, and the ecosystems on which human health is so dependant. It is a reminder that it is indeed time for nature. The way we live and travel matters greatly for nature and for us. By embracing clean, efficient and green public transport, we help to limit emissions, noise pollution, traffic accidents and our footprint on nature.”