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Friday 7 September 2012

Rail and Public Transport brought into the spotlight with transport event at the annual United Nations Conference on Climate change in Nairobi in 2006.

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A request to governments came from transport and economic experts at an official “side event” organised in Nairobi by major international rail and public transport associations within the United Nations Conference on Climate change (UNFCCC) which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, between November 6 and 17, 2006 . They called for funds from carbon trading emissions to help ensure that the developing world focuses more effort on building and maintaining integrated sustainable transport systems.

Concern on the increase of emissions from the transport sector stimulated this demand as for the third year running emissions from this sector are growing fastest, offsetting much of the effort from other sectors. As this meeting was held at the UN compound in Girigir on the outskirts of Nairobi, it was appropriate that this side event placed the accent on the issue of transport and its role in economic development.


Top level speakers from United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHABITAT), Sara Candiracci set out the agenda for accepting the role that public and non motorised transport such as walking and cycling play in this part of the world and some of the cultural resistance to accepting these modes of transport in a modern dynamic environment. Dr Lew Fulton, United Nations Environment Programmed (UNEP) and expert for the Global Environment facility one of the carbon mechanisms, presented the potential for modal shift in reducing Greenhouse gas emissions from transport and highlighted the recent explosion in Bus Rapid Transport (BRT).

Margrethe Sagevik, from UIC, Heather Allen, from UITP and Suzanne L’Ami from UNIFE these pointed out the recently approved UITP position on climate change, the efforts of the railway sector to even improve its energy efficiency advantage to other transport modes, and the commitment of the railway supply industry to reduce emissions during manufacture and the emissions from the total life cycle of railway vehicles.


This gave new impulse in the relationship between the UIC and the UN, who strive to face climate change in a sustainable manner. This relationship broadened during COP13.