UNECE Inland Transport Committee Discusses Climate Change Impacts

4 March 2011: The 73rd annual session of the Inland Transport Committee (ITC) of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), which convened from 1-3 March 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland, addressed, inter alia, the impact of climate change on the transport sector.

The Committee noted that climate change negatively impacts the UNECE region, as evidenced by the number and intensity of extreme weather events recorded in 2010 that considerably hindered transport operations in many countries. Discussions focused on the need to increase mitigation efforts, such as the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, as well as adaptation and risk management measures. To this end, the Committee established a Group of Experts to study adaptation measures to the climate change impacts on international transport networks and to prepare policy recommendations.

The ITC also recalled the role of the UNECE's World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations in the development of regulations that contribute to improved vehicles safety and environmental performance. It noted that, in 2010, the Forum focused on further improving fuel efficiency of engines and reducing carbon dioxide emissions of motor vehicles, with new provisions for rolling resistance of tyres that reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover, the Committee highlighted that the UNECE is implementing a UN Development Account-funded global project aimed at the development of a monitoring and assessment tool for carbon dioxide emissions in inland transport to facilitate climate change mitigation. [UNECE Press Release] [Meeting Documents]