United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers a speech via video link at the opening ceremony of the Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference, Oct. 14, 2021. The Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference kicked off on Thursday in Beijing. The three-day conference will be held both online and offline. (Xinhua/Yin Gang)
BEIJING, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called on countries across the world to join forces to build more sustainable transport systems and accelerate the decarbonization process of the entire transport industry.
During his online speech at the opening ceremony of the Second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference held in Beijing, China, Guterres said all countries need to take more ambitious and credible actions to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
It is necessary to "phase out the production of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035 for leading manufacturing countries, and by 2040 for developing countries," he said, adding that zero emission ships must be commercially available for all by 2030, and companies have to start using sustainable aviation fuels now.
"All stakeholders have a role to play," the UN chief said. For governments, they need to "incentivize clean transport options, including through standards and taxation, and impose stricter regulation of infrastructure and procurement," he said.
The three-day conference is being held under the theme of "Sustainable Transport, Sustainable Development." Over the coming days, government leaders, industry experts and civil society groups will discuss solutions and actions to achieve safe, accessible, green and resilient transport.
Transport is one of the single largest contributors to air and carbon pollution emissions globally, which, according to official data, accounts for about 64 percent of total oil consumption and 27 percent of all energy use. Meanwhile, over 1 billion people worldwide still lack adequate access to an all-weather road, especially in developing countries.
Concerning the still raging COVID-19 pandemic and the slowly recovering global economy, Guterres urged the world community, especially developed countries, to increase finance and investments, and help the developing world build sustainable and resilient transport systems and address climate issues.
"We must funnel both public and private resources towards sustainable infrastructure in developing countries, to drive a recovery from the pandemic that accelerates progress across the Sustainable Development Goals," he said. Enditem