UN DESA Brief Highlights Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport in Emerging and Developing Economies

RIO+20March 2012: The March Issues Brief of the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) highlights the transport sector in countries with emerging and developing economies, noting that rapid urbanization is changing the transport sector in these countries.

The Brief uses the example of auto industries in these contexts beginning to shift from the internal combustion engine to electric vehicles. It further highlights that the focus on transport has shifted away from moving goods and people to ensuring access to goods and services, and implementing a so-called “avoid‐shift‐improve” (ASI) approach. Such an approach promotes measures to improve existing forms of transport via technological improvements to make engines and fuels less carbon intensive.

The brief then notes that the impact of a shift to a green economy in the transport sector will be largest in emerging and developing economies because of the expected growth of the transport sector in these countries. In light of that, the brief calls for more institutionalized approaches to put in place ASI‐inspired policy and financing frameworks to rapidly scale‐up ASI linked programmes and measures. It also proposes the adoption of a sustainable development goal specific to transportation that looks at the achievement of sustainable transport enabling universal access to safe, clean, and affordable mobility. [Publication: Rio+20: Issues Brief 13]