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Event seeks cooperation on transport

Luo Wangshu
Updated: October 18, 2021 06:59    China Daily

The Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference ended in Beijing on Oct 16, with more than 1,000 participants from over 100 countries agreeing to greater international cooperation to achieve sustainable transportation development worldwide, with the aim of building a greener future.

The Beijing Statement, released after the conference, called for the adoption of integrated, interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral approaches, supported by greater international cooperation.

Participants agreed a profound shift to sustainable transportation is key to achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN's sustainable development goals by 2030.

"The Beijing Statement depicts the future of global sustainable transportation development," Transport Minister Li Xiaopeng said at the conference's closing ceremony. "It proposes strengthening international cooperation in the transportation sector, which offers a framework for the implementation of related goals sought by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."

He said he hopes the initiatives will be valued and responded to by stakeholders, and followed with practical actions to contribute to the development of sustainable transportation.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin said: "We have the opportunity now to capture the innovation and technology that can revolutionize transportation. But these new technologies have to work for everyone.

"We have the solutions, and now we need the global cooperation to ensure that sustainable transportation will be the engine that powers our efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals and the objectives of the Paris Agreement."

The three-day conference gathered representatives from 171 countries for online and offline discussions on finding solutions to achieve safe, accessible, green and resilient transportation.

Speaking at its opening ceremony via video link, President Xi Jinping announced that China will set up a Global Innovation and Knowledge Center for Sustainable Transport as a contribution to global transportation development.

He also said countries should advance global transportation cooperation and write a new chapter featuring the connectivity of infrastructure, unfettered flows of trade and investment, and interactions between civilizations.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on countries across the world to join forces to build more sustainable transportation systems and accelerate the decarbonization process of the entire industry.

"All stakeholders have a role to play," he said while delivering a speech at the opening ceremony via video link.

Guo Jifu, head of the Beijing Transport Institute, said: "It is a trend for China to cooperate with the world. Transportation is becoming an increasingly important way to improve connectivity with the world."

As a researcher in the sector, he said it is his duty to find solutions to promote innovative, green and low-carbon transportation development and to contribute to global sustainable transportation development.

UN data shows that transportation is one of the single largest contributors to air pollution and carbon emissions globally, while also accounting for about 64 percent of total oil consumption and 27 percent of all energy use.

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