Transport Day at COP26 will see the launch of:

  • the declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans;
  • the Clydebank Declaration for green shipping corridors; and
  • the declaration of the International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition.

At the Second Global Sustainable Transport Conference in Beijing last month, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated the importance of focussing on transport decarbonisation and its role in achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, encouraging stakeholders at all levels to play their part – individuals, businesses and governments.

Here we are a month on at Transport Day at COP26, which brings parties together to focus on the decarbonisation of global transport.

Road

The headline event for Transport Day is the acceleration of the zero emission vehicle transition. With road transport accounting for 10% of global emissions (and rising), the transition to zero emissions vehicles must occur faster to ensure the Paris Agreement goals are met, including to limit global warning to 1.5°C. Representatives have declared their commitment to accelerating the transition to zero emission vehicles and 100% zero emission vehicle sales by 2040 (or 2035 for leading markets). However, missing some major government signatories, including China, Japan, Germany and the United States, and certain car manufacturers, the impact this commitment will have to global emissions in practice is to be seen.

Shipping

The Clydebank Declaration for green shipping corridors will be launched at Transport Day, in which signatories will support the establishment of “green shipping corridors” (i.e. zero-emission routes between ports). The declaration aims to support the establishment of 6 green shipping corridors by 2025, with more in operation by 2030. Major signatories include France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Aviation

Transport Day will also see the launch of the International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition. Member States have declared a number of commitments, including to collectively advance ambitious actions to reduce CO2 emissions, supporting the adoption of long-term aspirational goals, ensuring the maximum effectiveness of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and promoting the development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels and of new low- and zero-carbon aircraft technologies. Major signatories include France, Japan, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Transport, which accounts for more than one quarter of global greenhouse gases, is key to getting on track. We must decarbonize all means of transport in order to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 globally” – UN Secretary General António Guterres’ remarks to the Second Global Sustainable Transport Conference on 14 October 2021.

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