Tackling climate action with public transport is one of the largest economic opportunities of the 21st century. The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and International Association of Public Transport (UITP), representing all the people working in the public transport sector, are committed to enhance the already outstanding technical capacity of our people to deliver even better transport and customer-centered services and investments in support of the Global Climate Action Agenda at COP23. In all countries, growing public transport helps fight unemployment and boost the economy, while enhancing quality of life and reducing emissions. In short, citizens, cities and the planet will be better off with more public transport.
High quality urban public transport investments will create millions of jobs. About 13 million jobs are linked to the provision of cost efficient public transport services and the public transport supply chain worldwide, representing about 20% of the entire transport sector. Doubling the market share of urban public transport pledged under the Marrakesh Partnership will double the number of jobs directly provided by the sector, while increasing GDP and productivity by 1% and reducing average urban transport emissions by 25%.
Investments in public transport represent value for money. The economic benefits of public transport is five times more than the money invested in it and 70% more than like for like spending on highway projects. By investing in more public transport oriented cities, it will lock us into a low carbon and resilient economic development path that will make it easier and cheaper to decarbonise the transport sector in order to deliver on the Paris Agreement.
The evidence is clear that a job in the public transport sector is a 'green job' as defined by the ILO (International Labour Organization) Climate action with public transport and job creation are intertwined. A smooth transition is needed for our people, particularly when evolving from informal to formal public transport, while achieving a good gender and inter-generational balance across all employment grades will contribute to new employment opportunities for all; women and young people in particular.
The Paris Agreement calls on all actors to play their part. That is why UITP and the ITF are committed to keep enhancing the capacity of the sector to deliver quality public transport infrastructures, vehicles and services outlined in national climate strategies. Our members will be the ones responsible for leading their effective and efficienct delivery and can ensure that these investments are of quality, which can help raise the level of ambition needed to meet the 1.5 degree goal.
The 2018 Facilitative Dialogue offers an opportunity for the international community to increase momentum for climate action with public transport. It can do this by outlining the long terms sustainable mobility policies and measures that will help to expand integrated public transport systems and highlight the partnerships that will support action on the ground.
COP 23 offers an opportunity to start this dialogue and both the ITF and UITP are willing to help all Parties to scale up climate action with public transport. In doing so, we can meet people’s ever growing aspirations for mobility regardless of their social status, gender, age and personal mobility, which has the potential to improve the lives and livelihoods of billions of people – their health, their environment and quality of life.