Contribution of Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport to Sustainable Development Goals

06-20-transportSustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) is a network that integrates sustainable transport into worldwide policies. Comprehensive sustainable transportation plans reduce negative environmental and security outcomes and advance progress towards fulfilling the SDGs. Aimée Gauthier asserted that, because SDGs are highly ambitious but non-binding, they could aim to set a higher standard for sustainability in transportation. However, tracking data poses a problem–to confront it, she recommended distinguishing between personal and public transport, measuring how many people live near transport, and encouraged people to consider walking and cycling.

Don Chen called transportation the “cornerstone” for development because encompasses more than simply mobility. Indeed, maximizing accessibility and location efficiency, along with mobility, would help people across all the socioeconomic spectrum. With regard to non-state actors’ involvement, Chen believed that the risk capital model allowed funded groups to make innovative progress in research and statistics. He predicted a growing role for non-state actors in infrastructure development.

Ms. Flax introduced 100 Resilient Cities, which partners with cities to develop strategies that prepare for shocks and stresses. This global network of cities share a broad, holistic view of resilience within which transportation plays a significant role. It is important to protect transportation infrastructure so that it may contribute to positive externalities.

Mr. Salamat addressed the role that the UN plays with regard to sustainable transport by dividing its functions into three categories: analytical, operational, and motive. Ms. Weisbrod believed there should be a focus on maritime transportation. Millions of people using ferries in the developmental world are being overlooked. Intra-urban ferry access should be a mode for transportation, and would help alleviate congestion in cities.

Meeting: Contribution of Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport to Sustainable Development Goals
Date & Location: 25 March 2015, Conference Room A, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Moderator Karl Peet, SLoCaT Sustainable Transport Research Coordinator; Aimée Gauthier, Chief Program Officer, Institute for Transport and Development Policy; Don Chen, Director, Metropolitan Opportunities Unit and Just Cities Initiative, Ford Foundation; Leah Flax, Project Manager, 100 Resilient Cities; Mohammad Reza Salamat, Senior Sustainable Development Officer, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs; Roberta Weisbrod, Executive Director, Worldwide Ferry Safety Association; James Goldstein, Research Director, Communitas Coalition
Written by WIT Representatives: Ellie Guner and Alis Yoo

Briefing on The Secretary-General’s Climate Summit

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Prior to the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference in 2015, Climate Summit 2014 will be held on 23rd of September to galvanize climatic actions. A briefing on this Summit was held to address the planning of the Summit’ programme. The Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team will be available for Member States to make inquires for preparation of the Summit.

A representative from EOSG stated that Head of States and Governments will deliver their national climate policies after the Secretary-General’s opening speech.The National Action and Ambition Announcements should provide new or scaled-up ambitions and actions, for instance, demonstrating the investment in resilience, pricing of pollution, the involvement and mobilisation of private actors on climate action. Also the national announcements must convey the message of placing the world on a less than 2 degree pathway that aligns politics and economics.

Heads of State and leaders from finance, business and civil society will announce multilateral and multi-stakeholders action initiatives with respects to energy efficiency and renewable; climate finance; adaptation, resilience and disaster risk reduction; transport, cities, forest and agriculture as well as climate pollutants. The action initiatives need to express the urgency of capitalizing the Green Climate Fund and mobilizing the $100 billion. Thematic discussion on climate science, co-benefits of climatic action, economic case for action and voices of climate frontlines will showcase innovative policies and practices.

While Climate Summit 2014 will not cater any side events, a Climate Week in New York City will take place from the 22nd to 28th of September to provide an alternative platform for governments, businesses and civil society’s public engagement. Finally, the representative highlighted there will be no negotiated outcome from this Summit. The results of the summit will be captured to catalyze ambitious action on the ground and mobilise political will for a global legal climate agreement by 2015.

Meeting: Briefing on The Secretary-General’s Climate Summit
Speakers: Representative from Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG)
Location: Conference Room 1, United Nations HQ, New York
Date: 27 June 2014
Written by WIT representative: Tracy Lau
Edited by WIT Representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark