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EU at the UN

The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

We are convinced that equal access to mobility is essential to achieve the MDGs. Efficient, affordable and environmentally friendly mobility can improve human well-being and health and allows conserving nature.

Mobility and requirements for mobility differ between countries due to different stages of economic development as well as due to other social and cultural factors. In an early stage of economic development missing infrastructure might be the main problem for economic development. In later stages of development pollution and congestion might be more of the problem.

Given the fact that worldwide more people live in urban areas, including Mega-Cities, than in rural ones the former will face some of the biggest challenges concerning sustainability. Within urban agglomeration sustainable mobility is a question how to avoid negative agglomeration effects such as congestions and pollutions. In rural areas it is the question how to organize long distance travels in a sustainable way to let everybody participate in economic and social live.

Especially in developing countries, urban areas are growing rapidly. Sustainable urban planning is needed to ensure that urban mobility is possible with less CO2-emissions and less air and noise pollution. Without appropriate urban planning, global climate targets will not be met. CSD 19 should therefore take the opportunity to call for meeting mobility demands of all people in urban areas in a more sustainable manner, more effectively and efficiently.

Increasing urbanisation opens up the possibility for public transport and reduces the demand for long distance travel. Therefore, support should be sought for sustainable urban transport consumption and production patterns including high quality public transport systems, flexible mobility services and the facilitation of non-motorized transport modes (walking and cycling), taking into account the multiple positive effects this has both on human health and the environment. CSD should in particular support technology cooperation as well as the transfer of technology and knowledge about sustainable urban transport production and consumption patterns.

As transport projects are often initiated on regional or local level, strengthened institutional frameworks and platforms as well as cooperative assessment guidelines on national and supra-national level could be helpful. Developing and implementing policies, programs and projects for sustainable transport production and consumption patterns will furthermore require improvements in the collection, analysis and dissemination of transport data.

Measures, CSD 19 should especially call for to enhance access to sustainable urban and rural transport:

    o Focussing on environmentally friendly, energy and space efficient modes such as walking, cycling, public transport and electric vehicles (using renewable energy).

    o Strengthening efforts in supplying affordable, safe, environmentally friendly and reliable public passenger transportation systems in order to facilitate commuting to work and provide accessibility to leisure activities in particular for the poor, the elderly, children and disabled people in urban areas.

    o Integrating transport issues in spatial planning including transport demand aspects at an early stage of urban development and calling for tightened traffic management through Urban Transport Management Systems with involvement of all stakeholders. Enhance therefore transport databases and tools for long term strategies, transport and spatial planning, local decisions and financing. The aim is to change transport consumption patterns by reducing compulsory travel distances and increase the number of trips that can be made on foot, by bicycle or by public transport.

    o Establishing more energy efficient transport consumption and production patterns in all countries through advances in technology, support for efficiency and logistic innovations and by encouraging public and multi-modal transport systems. These include for instance efficient busses and electric railway systems using renewable energy.

    o Calling for development, demonstration and knowledge transfer of low-carbon transport technologies and management practices because they are essential to react to ongoing developments in oil-based motorization in the world.

    o Reducing the environmental impacts of infrastructure development and operations. This should target especially land take including soil sealing, habitat loss and connectivity, noise and air pollution (proximity to residential areas), impacts on water quality and quantity (drainage, run-off, hydrological balance, water regulation related to shipping, etc.)

    o Pleading for a better use of the potential of national appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) and embedding transport more in the climate financing schemes (e.g. CDM, GEF, Climate Investment Funds). Orient finance regulations towards sustainability criteria and long-term effects.

    o Strengthening expert information exchange, technical cooperation, technology transfer and capacity building, including North-South and South-South transfers, and involving national, regional, and local governments concerning technical progress, transport management as well as public transport systems.

    o Recommending the development of meaningful indicators for sustainable transport until the next evaluation of CSD.

Thank you for your attention.

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