Statement by Mr Contius in the Commission on Sustainable Development on Transport

May 12, 2011

(as delivered)

Mr. Chair, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Germany associates itself with the statement delivered by Hungary on behalf of the EU and its 27 member states.

Transport in its current form and its continuous growth worldwide are posing increasingly great environmental challenges, despite all successful action to date.

In addition to substance and noise pollution, we particularly refer to the role of transport in climate change. This has undoubtedly made transport a global issue.

We must urgently take action to develop a clean, affordable and efficient system of transport in urban agglomerations and to remove obstacles to accessing rural regions.

In future, offering vehicles with very low emissions will be one of the decisive competition factors for the automobile industry. Electric mobility based on renewable energies will play a crucial role as it provides an opportunity to comply with very ambitious CO2 limit values without restricting mobility.

In order to reduce both CO2 emissions and dependence on crude oil, the transport sector in general has to become more efficient.

Germany advocates a much greater focus on possible forms of sustainable mobility and how it can be achieved worldwide, e.g. in the still rapidly growing field of goods transport.

In many cases we are just at the beginning: in quite a number of countries there is a lack of fundamental data and regulating systems. We urgently need to enter into a greater exchange of information. Industrialised countries should advance innovation in the transport sector and aim at implementing this jointly with developing countries, as developing countries in particular often directly bear the tangible impacts of climate change.

Transport plays an important role in poverty eradication and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. However, the rapid increase in private motor traffic leads to notable costs for society such as smog and fragmentation of habitats. Technological solutions alone cannot reduce the harmful effects of transport and are still far too costly for many countries.

The debates have shown that there is no blueprint for all countries. Every country has to find out which of the wide range of technological and non-technological measures will serve the purpose for its particular situation.

Due to climate change and the limited availability of ressources, the transport sector needs to become more sustainable. The UN Commission on Sustainable Development has therefore chosen a good time to put transport on the agenda, to raise awareness worldwide and to promote exchange of information and cooperation.

An ambitious outcome of CSD 19 on transport would be a good basis for the negotiations concerning green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, one of the main issues of Rio 2012.

Thank you.

© GermanyUN