UNIFE PARTICIPATES IN THE BERLIN HIGH-LEVEL DIALOGUE ON IMPLEMENTING RIO+20 DECISIONS ON SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND URBAN TRANSPORT
The Berlin High-level Dialogue on implementing Rio+20 decisions on sustainable cities and urban transport took place on 19-21 June, thereby coinciding with the first anniversary of the Rio+20 conference. Via exchanges of experience and best practices among experts and policy makers worldwide, the event focused on tackling challenges faced by urbanization and the consequential increase in transport demand so that the commitments made are followed through with real actions.
As a major promoter of sustainable solutions for public transport, UNIFE was invited to give a presentation in the framework of a roundtable featuring high-level speakers. Judit Sándor, UNIFE Sustainability and Environment Manager, explained the role that rail transport has in an integrated mass transit system. She highlighted that rail is the backbone of sustainable urban transport, not only from an environmental aspect (CO2 emissions, noise, air pollution…), but also from a socio-economic point of view (e.g., congestion mitigation, job creation). This has become all the more relevant as increased urbanization is expected since developing countries are experiencing strong growth and, as a result, dealing with the new challenges such growth poses.
Several solutions were presented by a variety of transport modes, and it was clear that the rail industry continues to contribute to the realization of a sustainable intermodal transport system. Furthermore, the conference concluded with the common understanding that actions have to be taken to achieve such a transport system, so the challenges faced can be realistically tackled.
UNIFE will continue to follow up on the implementation of the Rio+20 commitments, as well as on the forthcoming COP19 (Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) negotiations due to take place in Warsaw from 11 to 22 November.