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UNECE Releases Report on Transport for Sustainable Development

May 2010: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has released a report on sustainable transport in the UNECE region, which discusses, inter alia: the environmental sustainability of transport, focusing on consumption of non‐renewable energy; the emissions of harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHGs); the generation of waste; and the reduction of natural habitat.

Sustainable transport is understood as transport that is: safe, high‐quality and accessible to all; ecologically sound; economically viable; and a positive contributor to local, national and international development. Specific goals for sustainable transport are identified as: improved service quality and quality of access to goods and services, safety, improved air quality, noise reduction, improved water quality, protection of natural habitat and open space, historic preservation, reduced carbon emissions, increased social equity, economic development, and a satisfying quality of life.

In assessing the role of the UNECE in promoting sustainable development of transport, the report concludes that the UNECE: by its mandate and traditional approach is primarily focusing on international transport, while sustainability measures require a system‐approach, i.e. considering local, regional, national and international transport; and is playing a key role in some areas of sustainability (international access, road traffic safety, environmentally-friendly vehicles and inter‐modal transport), but marginal or no role in other areas, noting that in light of resource constraints, this selectivity is likely to continue in the future. [Publication: Sustainable Transport in the UNECE Region]