Transport can guarantee long-term economic and environmental benefits if policymakers and the private sector address sustainability issues through investment, new research has said.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the transport sector, which is responsible for 23% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, is an important driver of economic growth.
It says the industry can generate long-term financial returns, but that investment needs to look at sustainability and its environmental impact to drastically cut CO2 emissions.
To do this, it is essential that the private sector cuts back on investment in carbon-intensive transport infrastructure and looks at more sustainable alternatives to meet climate targets, according to the OECD’s report, Mobilising Private Investment in Sustainable Transport: The Case of Land-Based Passenger Transport Infrastructure.
Angel Gurría, OECD secretary-general, said during the unveiling of the study in Germany, “It is urgent that investment in transportation moves towards building right, not just building more.
“The private sector has a key role to play in this shift, which will help governments to meet the pressing economic, social and environmental challenges they will face over coming decades.”
Gurrìa added, “Governments on their part must play a central role in mobilising private sector investment for sustainable transport infrastructure.”
The OECD suggested that governments might have to adopt a Green Investment Policy Framework in order to mobilise investment in sustainable transport systems such as metros, passenger rail, bus rapid transit or electric vehicle charging stations.
In April, the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon played up the “crucial” role that sustainable transport plays in making cities more liveable and in tackling climate change.