September 2019: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has launched a website for the second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference, which will focus on the opportunities, challenges and solutions towards achieving sustainable transport objectives such as access for all while leaving no one behind, green mobility, efficiency and safety.

The 2020 event will follow up on the first Global Sustainable Transport Conference, held in 2016 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, and is expected to pave the way forward for sustainable transport to help reach the Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

According to the website, transport enables the mobility of people and goods, and enhances economic growth and livelihoods, while at the same time improving access to quality health, education and finance services. While transport strengthens connectivity “at all levels,” and helps integrate economies, improve social equity, enhance rural-urban linkages and build resilience, it also has negative environmental, social and health impacts. For example, the website notes, transport generates almost a quarter of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and emissions from transport are projected to rise substantially in the coming years, further contributing to climate change.

Emissions from transport are projected to rise substantially in the coming years.

The second Global Sustainable Transport Conference will draw on discussions and ongoing action on sustainable transport in various fora, including the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the Group of 7 (G7) Leaders’ Summit and the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit. It will seek to contribute to a number of SDGs, some of which are directly connected to sustainable transport through targets and indicators, including SDG target 3.6 on addressing deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents and SDG target 11.2 on providing access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all and on expanding public transport.

The conference will bring together key stakeholders from government, the UN system and other international organizations, the private sector and civil society to discuss the integrated and cross-cutting nature of sustainable transport and the multiple ways in which it supports the attainment of the 2030 Agenda. The event will address all modes of transport, including road, rail, aviation and waterborne, along with recent scientific and technological advances in the field.

The event will give particular attention to the concerns of vulnerable groups such as women, the youth, the elderly, persons with disabilities and the poor, as well as those of developing countries, including least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS).

The Conference will be held from 5-7 May 2020 in Beijing, China. [DESA Website for Second Global Sustainable Transport Conference]