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Animal Avatars Board UNEP's 'Green Train' with Launch of Sustainable Transport Campaign
19/ 06/ 2012

Animal Avatars Board UNEP's 'Green Train' with Launch of Sustainable Transport CampaignNairobi / Geneva, 19 June 2012 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), together with over 20 train, metro, bus, and carpooling companies across Europe, is launching a new campaign aimed at promoting sustainable transport choices among commuters.
The Let's Travel Together campaign, which launches today at the Rio+20 conference in Brazil, will encourage travellers to share their cars with friends, use public transport and take other actions to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles.
Facebook users can back the campaign and signal their support for sustainable transport by selecting an animal avatar and boarding a virtual Green Vehicle, together with other social media users, at www.greenup-unep.org/traveltogether/
As part of UNEP's GreenUp initiative, Let's Travel Together will show in a virtual and entertaining way how sustainable transport can support the transition towards a low carbon, resource efficient green economy.
Europeans who carpooled from 2008 to 2011 saved over 630,000 tonnes in carbon emissions, 324 million litres of gas, and US$ 945 million (?750 million). In 2009, railways only produced 1.8 percent of total CO₂ emissions from the transport sector, corresponding to 0.6 percent of total CO₂ emissions among the 27 member states of the European Union (EU27) .
If current trends continue, global vehicle traffic will increase by 60 percent between 2005 and 2025. The cost of traffic congestion, pollution and accidents in the EU well exceeds US$ 630 billion (?500 billion) each year.
Moving towards greener societies isn't just environmentally friendly, but also economically and socially sound. If the market share of public transport, the urban transport energy consumption would only increase marginally, yet this would save around 170 million tonnes oil equivalent and avoid the emission of around 550 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent in 2025, compared to a business as usual scenario .
The campaign is designed with social media in mind: Let's Travel Together's centre piece is a web application where your Facebook avatar will appear on a green, futuristic vehicle together with others who have pledged to support sustainable transport.
If internet users convince their friends to join the online campaign, they can be entered into a competition to win public transport tickets in a number of European countries.
From today, transport companies and associations will promote Let's Travel Together on their websites and social media channels, encouraging visitors to get on board, invite friends and enter for a chance to win free travel in Europe.
Note to Editors:
GreenUp is a UNEP initiative that provides resources to citizens to help them connect their everyday choices to support the transition to a Green Economy. Learn more at www.greenup-unep.org or www.facebook.com/greenup.unep.
More information on the UNEP Green Economy Initiative is available at: www.unep.org/greeneconomy

Let's Travel Together partners include:
DB - Deutsche Bahn - http://www.bahn.de
CARRIS - Companhia Carris de Ferro de Lisboa - http://www.carris.pt/
INFRABEL - http://www.infrabel.be/
SNCF - Société nationale des chemins de fer français - http://www.sncf.com
NSB - http://www.nsb.no - Norges statsbaner 
SBB - Schweizerische Bundesbahnen - http://www.sbb.ch
TMB - Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona - http://www.tmb.cat
TPG - Transports Publics Genevois - www.tpg.ch
TRENORD - http://www.trenord.it
UIC - International Union of Railways - www.uic.org
UITP - International Association of Public Transport - www.uitp.org
Carpooling - www.carpooling.com
For more information, please contact:

Isabelle Valentiny, Information Officer, UNEP Regional Office for Europe, Tel.:         + 41 22 917 8404,  Mobile:   + 41 79 251 8236, E-mail: isabelle.valentiny@unep.org

Further Resources
UNEP Green Economy Initiative
Let's Travel Together campaign
UNEP GreenUp
UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)