China calls on BRI countries to work for sustainable transport
BEIJING, Oct 18th (Gwadar Pro) – Oct 14-16th, the UN Sustainable Transport Conference was held in Beijing, with government leaders, industry experts, and civil society groups charting a sustainable pathway forward. “President Xi Jinping announced that China will establish the China International Sustainable Transport Innovation and Knowledge Center, which will give a strong boost to the development of sustainable transport worldwide”, said Abid, director of the Pakistan Institute of Sustainable Development Policy, “China's research and innovation capabilities will underpin the success of this new initiative.”
On the occasion, Main Line 1 (ML-1), KKH, Orange Line, Gwadar Port, and other projects under CPEC were emphasized as a successful case of sustainable transport. Participants agreed that following the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, China joins hands with BRI countries to accelerate cooperation in infrastructure connectivity and build a high-quality development path that is inclusive and beneficial to all – a road of peace, cooperation and prosperity.
The Chinese enterprises participated in CPEC projects also shared their success story in Pakistan and announced that they’d love to support Pakistan to achieve sustainable transport.
While transport is a core driver for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and provides communities with an opportunity to access employment, health care services and attend schools, current systems of mobility present a number of challenges. According to the report released on the conference, transport is one of the single largest contributors to air and carbon pollution emissions globally, also accounting for about 64% of total oil consumption and 27% of all energy use. Over 1 billion people worldwide still lack adequate access to an all-weather road, especially in developing countries, including countries in special situations.
In order to cope with the dilemma, countries, businesses and communities are using the power of technology and innovation to improve their transport systems and make them more sustainable. From the Volo copter, an all-electric air taxi in Germany to electrified bus networks in China to the rapid sale growth of electric vehicles in the United States, a transport revolution has begun. The COVID-19 pandemic has also prompted many cities to build more bicycle lanes and G20 countries have committed over $284 billion to the mobility industry.
All modes of transport, including road, rail, aviation and waterborne, were discussed at the conference. It consisted of plenary sessions, a Ministers Forum, a Business Forum and a Science, Engineering and Technology Forum. Its six thematic sessions included discussions on the contributions sustainable transport can make to economic recovery, creating livelihoods and to climate change mitigation. The Conference culminated in new partnerships, commitments and initiatives to further advance sustainable transport. Amid those events, plenary session featured 15 Ministers of Transport and high-level government representatives, sharing their national experiences in advancing sustainable transport.
“It has become more urgent than ever to accelerate the transformation to sustainable transport. This means decarbonizing transport systems, ensuring universal access, improved safety, enhanced resilience, greater efficiency, and lower pollution.” Said Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General of Economic and Social Affairs of United Nations, during his closing remarks where he urged all to “be determined and focused, continuing on a journey that started in Ashgabat, accelerated in Beijing and must now gather speed to deliver on the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement”.