"Mainstreaming adaptation and climate change resilience into transport infrastructure development is a gradual process that is to be tackled at a strategic level," was a key message from the African Development Bank, a co-sponsor of Transport Day 2013, in Warsaw, Poland, on November 17, during the UN Climate Negotiations known as COP19.
The full-day event aimed to raise awareness of the importance of the transport sector within the climate change debate in general, and within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC) process. The AfDB has financed the participation of African transport experts at the event to help present the African view on the subject, together with examples of work conducted in the field of Transport 'NAMAs' (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions) in African countries.
Participating in the opening plenary, Anthony Nyong, AfDB Manager for environmental safeguards and compliance, presented efforts undertaken by the Bank to mainstream issues of climate change into the Bank's future transport pipeline. The event focused on several themes including adaptation, mitigation, policy and climate financing within the sector.
Transport is a key issue that is not yet fully integrated into the climate change debate. Yet, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), transport is the fastest-growing source of CO2 emissions, contributing to 13% of global emissions and 23% of all energy-related emissions. This underlines the urgency of large-scale action on transport and climate change.
Within the UNFCCC international negotiations, the mitigation potential of land transport still does not get enough attention. The efforts of the multi-stakeholder initiatives "Bridging the Gap" and the "Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport" have helped to move the topic forward over the past four years and there is now a growing support and a better understanding of the potential for low-carbon transport. Transport is the second-largest sector when it comes to NAMAs under development and submitted to UNFCCC.
The Warsaw Statement contains recommendations on how to strengthen the integration of sustainable, low-carbon transport in the UNFCCC process, especially the new global agreement on climate change. Negotiations on the new climate agreement started following agreement on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action in Durban, South Africa, in 2011, where the global community decided to develop a new global climate change agreement.