Tackling climate change and boosting sustainable public transport for everyone go hand in hand. As an organisation committed to promoting the development of sustainable transport, the International Organisation for Public Transport (UITP) highlighted the need for faster climate action in the transport sector and reached agreements on fostering sustainable urban mobility with its key partners during the annual climate change conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany.
UITP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the International Union of Railways (UIC) to advance sustainable public transport options such as the clean shuttle bus service, underscoring the benefits of investing in low carbon solutions and creating infrastructure for sustainable public transport.
"We can take the opportunity to fight climate change or lose it and with the UITP Declaration, the public transport sector is here to work with the Parties to help the development and implementation of low carbon solutions with quality public transport. That will be the key to meeting the two-degree goal," said Alain Flausch, UITP Secretary General.
This agreement will also link into the work of the UITP Sustainable Development Commission and comes after a joint proposal was submitted by UITP and UIC for partnership with the secretariat.
The TramTrain day saw transport leaders, including UITP Secretary General Alain Flausch, Dr. Frank Mentrup, Lord Mayor of Karlsruhe, and Winifred Hermann, Transport Minister for the State of Baden-Wurttemberg, travel from Karlsruhe to the new Bonn UN Campus for the launch of the clean shuttle bus service.
Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change and Ashok Sridharan, Lord Mayor of Bonn were in attendance for the unveiling of more than 25 electric and fuel cell buses that were operated as shuttles during COP23.
"UITP has been very much engaged in making the case of public transport as a major enabler for reducing the CO2 emission footprint of transport. Actions are better than words. We have supported with enthusiasm the clean shuttle buses for transporting COP23 delegates and visitors," noted Mr. Flausch.
The clean shuttle buses ran during the entire 11 days of COP23 and were advertised by signs on the bus stops, in the conference centres and on the buses themselves.
UITP featured on the advertising for the shuttle buses across the Conference as around 25,000 delegates were expected to be transported in the buses powered by electricity, fuel cells and hybrid solutions.
UITP is working towards making public transport attractive to users in order to achieve sustainability. "We must make a coalition to provide an ecosystem to allow people to move around properly," said Mr. Flausch.
Various transport companies from across North Rhine-Westphalia - the German state which hosted COP23 - participated in the clean shuttle service during the conference.