Yesterday evening (June 19), the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), the International Union of Railways (UIC) and the European Railway Industry Association (UNIFE) made their contribution to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20.
Leaders at Rio+20 have a rare opportunity to improve the lives of millions of people and usher in a new era of sustainability. Two decades after the original Earth Summit, Governments from across the world are reaffirming their commitment to sustainable development and pledging to kick-start a green economy.
The Rio+20 negotiations are considering transport within the context of cities and urban development. Therefore UITP, UIC and UNIFE developed a joint statement and a series of events on the theme "Sustainable Transport in the Cities of the Future.
In the online statement, the three associations are calling on all parties at Rio+20 to encourage strong international actions to endorse a modal shift towards rail and public transport.
These messages have been brought to decision makers at Rio+20 at a series of events jointly organised by the three associations:
- A side event at the Rio+20 conference venue with an audience of over 70 people representing national governments and UN institutions
- A 1-day workshop at FETRANSPOR (the federation of bus passenger transport companies in the state of Rio de Janeiro) to share expertise on developing sustainable rail and public transport systems which attracted around 100 participants
At the evening event to officially launch the joint statement, the Brazilian Transport Minister – Paulo Sergio Passos – praised the three associations for their efforts in the build up to Rio+20.
Upon launching the joint statement, John Inglish – Chair of UITP's Sustainable Development Commission - urged Rio+20 to encourage a more sustainable transport future.
"We need Rio+20 to make sustainable transport a vital ingredient for the cities of the future. Public transport is critical in helping to address the problems caused by automobile dependence and building cities which are clean, equitable, accessible and economically viable".
"Transport makes up for the bulk of emission worldwide – we are here to show that rail transport is part of the solution to the problem. With technologies that are available today, rail can improve the lives of citizens around the globe by providing comfortable and reliable transport at minimal environmental cost. Investing in sustainable transport now means investing timely in the future." stated Andre Guyvarch, the Bombardier country representative in Brazil on behalf of UNIFE Director-General Philippe Citroën.
The joint statement (attached) concludes a series of joint events organised by the three associations brought to decision makers at Rio+20.
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