International Transport Forum hearing on energy
“Tackling climate change requires systemic approach”
Paris, France – “The challenges introduced by climate change for the transport sector are considerable and increasingly need to be dealt with globally in a systemic way. Powerful actors in this process include civil society and the private sector“ noted Jack Short, Secretary General of the International Transport Forum as he welcomed over fifty international organisations to a stakeholder hearing on energy and greenhouse gas emission strategies in the transport sector.
Organised with the Finnish Presidency of the Forum, the hearing enabled representative organisations to express their positions in such areas as the potential of low-carbon energies, the role of government and the public acceptability of policy measures in the run up to the 2008 International Transport Forum “Energy & Transport: the Challenge of Climate Change” to be held in Leipzig Germany 28-30 May 2008.
Senior representatives from governmental and non-governmental organisations covering all transport modes and the entire supply chain attended this hearing, confirming that energy supply and global warming have become two of the most important issues the sector needs to address. According to statistics put together by the International Transport Forum and the International Energy Agency, global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have grown 70% since 1970 and transport’s share of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use has reached 30% in OECD countries. Yet growth trends across all modes of transport are set to continue, in stark contrast with targets set by policy-makers for emissions targets.
The stakeholder hearing was held at a key moment in the immediate aftermath of the agreement reached in Bali at the UNFCCC’s 13th Conference of Parties in December 2007 whose action plan calls for sector-wide approaches and enhanced cooperation among stakeholders. The exchanges confirmed that all transport modes are examining alternative low-carbon energy sources and that policy-makers have a crucial role to play in defining a regulatory and fiscal framework commensurate with the challenge at hand. Overcoming the lack of sound energy-efficiency indicators was also perceived as an important contribution the transport sector can make to the implementation of the Bali roadmap. As Jack Short pointed out, “there is a clear need for improved analytics. Many countries claim credit for their traditional measures without knowing either their costs or their impacts”.
Stakeholder organisations are expected to play an important role at the 2008 edition of the International Transport Forum where opportunities will be given to industrial actors, modal organisations and environmental NGOs to help shape the debate and interact with Ministers and other high-level policy-makers. A full summary report of the international stakeholder hearing as well as the list of participating stakeholder organisations will shortly be available from www.internationaltransportforum.org
The International Transport Forum, part of the OECD family, is a global platform and meeting place at the highest level for transport, logistics and mobility. Key figures from government and politics, business and industry, research and civil society will meet at the annual conference in Leipzig, which has the ambition to become the “Transport Summit of the Year”.