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 GC Day 1 - 22 February 2011

Side Event

Transport, Infrastructure and Green Economy


A side event on Transport, Infrastructure and the Green Economy was held immediately after the launch of the Green Economy Report. The panel included Minister Izabella Teixeira from Brazil, Minister Denis Kellman of Barbados, US EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, and UNEP Director of DTIE Sylvie Lemmet. The session was moderated by Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat.

Discussions demonstrated that there is a keen interest on the contribution that transport can make to a low carbon and green economy. Many countries are struggling to get a handle on the growing transport sector, especially the rapidly increasing vehicle fleets and transport demands, and are looking for concrete solutions. Some participants indicated the need for clear metrics in order to determine what actions have the biggest impact. The need to develop measures in all three areas - avoid transport through better city planning, shift to clean modes of transport especially public transport and improve cleaner vehicles - was well received. Participants identified that the key green economy challenges they face were in the building and transport sectors.

UNEP's Green Economy report demonstrated how investment in clean low carbon transport can result in major emissions reductions and creation of extra jobs. UN-Habitat and Brazil emphasized the need to look at mobility rather than transport and all other actions associated; planning, investment and technology. Barbados showed that major investments are needed and necessary, especially in public transport. US EPA shared their lessons learned in establishing and implementing the Clean Air Act. A look to the future included electric vehicles and the implication for developing countries.