Summary report, 17 November 2013

Warsaw Transport Day 2013 at COP 19

Transport Day took place on Sunday, 17 November 2013, in Warsaw, Poland, alongside the nineteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 19) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Supported by the Bridging the Gap initiative and the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), the focus of Transport Day 2013 was rethinking transport and climate change.

During the morning, participants attended a panel discussion on sustainable transport as a key building block of sustainable low-carbon development, then dispersed into four break-out groups on the mitigation potential of the transport sector, policymaking on sustainable, low carbon transport in the developing world, ensuring effective nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) for transport, and integrating adaptation in transport policies.

During the afternoon, participants continued in their break-out sessions and an additional discussion on sustainable, low-carbon transport financing, followed by a roundtable panel reporting back on these discussions. They then attended a panel discussion on developing a message to the UNFCCC negotiators on sustainable, low-carbon transport. The day concluded with the adoption of the Warsaw Statement on Low Carbon Transport and Sustainable Development, which was followed by an evening reception.



On Sunday morning, Cornie Huizenga, Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), welcomed participants to Transport Day 2013. He said the original discussion on setting up the SLoCaT Partnership focused on the correct terminology to use, which culminated in combining the terms “sustainable transport” and “low carbon.” Emphasizing the role of the transport industry as proactive role players, he urged participants to use the day’s proceedings to provide meaningful inputs into composing a message to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat that would highlight the transformative potential of a sustainable, low-carbon transport sector. He identified signing the Warsaw Statement as a further opportunity to provide impetus to the day’s proceedings.

Nikhil Seth, Director of the Division for Sustainable Development, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, read a statement on behalf of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In the statement, Ban stressed the role of the transport sector as a large source of carbon emissions, which requires acceleration and scaling up of efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. He said successful negotiations can greatly enhance these efforts, and reminded delegates of the 2014 Climate Summit, which will include a focus on sustainable transport. Ban said changes in the way cities are planned and the way people and goods move are crucial, and reminded participants of the US$175 billion pledged at the Rio+20 conference by eight major Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), which contributed to making sustainable transport a significant feature in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. After delivering the statement, Seth stressed the need to envision sustainable transport as a component of development efforts and a key driver in poverty eradication.

In a video message, Rajendra Pachauri, Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reminded participants that the transport sector is responsible for a quarter of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which has major implications for human welfare. He lamented a recent reversal of the shift to smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles after the seventies’ major fuel price spike, and called for the necessary infrastructure changes to ease a transition toward energy-efficient and public transport modes.

Donald Cooper, Coordinator for the Mitigation, Data and Analysis Programme, UNFCCC, emphasized the support of the UNFCCC Secretariat. Saying Transport Day is the kind of initiative that will pay future dividends, he warned that transport not only is a source of carbon dioxide emissions, but could also become the victim of climate change impacts if the rate of increase of emissions is not halted. He noted current strategies, including Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), but urged further comprehensive measures, including reducing emissions from air and maritime transport, developing financial incentives at the national and sub-national levels, and fostering vehicle standards.

Philippe Citroën, Director General, Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE), representing the Transport Day 2013 Supporting Organizations, praised the much-needed initiative of establishing a transport day during the climate change negotiations, and called for greater ambition for the post-2015 development goals. He stressed the importance of research, new policies, innovative technologies and lifestyle changes as mitigating actions, saying these are intertwined and will lessen the need for adaptation. Citroën confirmed UNIFE’s support for the Warsaw Statement, emphasizing its importance in shifting to safe, clean modes of transport.


Heather Allen, Transport Research Laboratory, moderated the session, which addressed the need for holistic planning and partnerships in the transport sector.

Stating that Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change, Anthony Okon Nyong, African Development Bank (AfDB), stressed that sustainable transport strategies represent an important focal area for AfDB to promote climate-resilient development.

Norbert Gorissen, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature, Conservation and Nuclear Safety, highlighted two NAMA projects in the transport sector, including one focused on transport-orientated development in Columbia and a fund to facilitate small transport-related interventions in Indonesia.

Presenting rail as part of a larger transport scheme, Jean Pierre Loubinoux, International Railway Association,  introduced a report produced in cooperation with the International Energy Agency (IEA) entitled “Railway Handbook 2013: Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions.” He highlighted the need for stakeholder collaboration and policy tools to support informed decision making.

Danang Parikesit, Indonesia Transportation Society, stated that the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali (COP 13) served as a “wake-up call,” identifying the link between climate change, economic development and transportation. He highlighted the benefit of the NAMA facility and stressed two components to move sustainable transport forward, namely ambitious leadership and collaboration across ministries, especially ministries of finance.

Holger Dalkmann, EMBARQ – the World Resources Institute (WRI) Center for Sustainable Transport, identified finding co-benefits, such as linking the Green Climate Fund’s (GCF) commitments to MDBs to leverage additional resources. He acknowledged the need for sectoral discussions regarding financial commitments and raising investment in sustainable transport. 

Noting that transport infrastructure, planning and policies are often male-dominated, Eleanor Blomquist, Women’s Environment & Development Organization, identified the need to provide sustainable, safe, healthy and affordable transport alternatives suitable for women. She called for a holistic approach, and stressed that transport policies should address equity and inclusiveness.

The ensuing discussion addressed, inter alia: integrative transport policies that address mitigation, adaptation and sustainable development; transport within the Post-2015 Development Agenda; capacity building and institutional support; information dissemination to inform civil society and decision makers; NAMAs in the transport sector; stakeholder participation; and behavior change.


Michael Replogle, Managing Director, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, coordinated the discussion sessions on the mitigation potential of the transport sector. He highlighted the importance of debating: the needs of policymakers in evaluating GHG mitigation potential; how to improve evaluations; achieving maximum transport GHG mitigation as co-benefit of sustainable transport; and emergent research results on impacts of low-carbon sustainable transport.

Andreas Kopp, World Bank, coordinated the discussion sessions on policy making on sustainable, low-carbon transport in the developing world. He undertook to consider the visions of what transport policies can and should do, which differ greatly, and urged a technology-focused vision.

Daniel Bongardt, German International Cooperation (GIZ), coordinated discussions on ensuring effective transport NAMAs. He said the sessions aimed to consider the NAMA experiences from four countries, while discussing available support and needs at the local level, as well as monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) requirements.

Rafael Acevedo-Daunas, Inter-American Development Bank, coordinated the session on integrating adaptation into transport policies. He proposed to debate: adaptation options; the reality of financing; in-country vulnerability and capacity; and what stakeholders in the transport sector can do to decrease the sector’s carbon footprint. 

Benoit Lefevre, EMBARQ, coordinated the session on financing sustainable, low-carbon transport. He proposed discussing: accessing climate funds and development bank finance; shifting financial flows; cost-effective private finance; and confidence and credibility issues.


Before and after lunch, participants attended discussion sessions on different streams related to sustainable, low-carbon transport. IISD Reporting Services covered four of the sessions, and these presentations and discussions are summarized below.

MITIGATION POTENTIAL OF THE TRANSPORT SECTOR: During this break-out session, Jiang Kejun, National Development and Reform Commission, China, related experiences from his country’s mitigation efforts, saying mitigation is a highly political issue, and China’s focus is currently on domestic efforts and policies to reduce emissions. He applauded the growth of Chinese renewable energy and public transport initiatives, and said the need to reduce air pollution is a major driver in addressing carbon dioxide emissions.  

Essam Ahmed, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, lamented the effect the unstable current political situation is having on his country’s sustainable transport initiatives, saying all efforts are moving toward greater independence from governmental support. He urged matching rail transport development with renewable energy initiatives to accelerate the introduction of green transportation technologies.

Cristiano Façanha, International Council on Clean Transportation, described the Energy Roadmap long-term study on the expansion of world-class policies and cost-effective technologies, and said many countries are more open to development discussions when focusing on clean technology driven by its potential health benefits, rather than climate change.

Jean-Francois Gagné, IEA, spoke of his organization’s use of scenario modeling on different energy pathways and policy-making options, through identifying the sectors that can make the biggest difference. He said although transport is the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, it also has the greatest potential for mitigation. On cost comparison of mitigation strategies, he discussed estimates of global transport expenditures by 2050, saying sustainable transport options are always far cheaper.

In the ensuing discussions, participants discussed, inter alia: research and its dissemination to policymakers; regulations in the transport assembly sector; infrastructure-curtailed environments in developing countries; inability of consumers to link behavior to impacts; and proper planning and having a series of solutions when addressing climate change.

INTEGRATING ADAPTATION IN TRANSPORT POLICIES: Rafael Acevedo-Daunas moderated the event, identifying key concepts including adaptation and resilience of the transport sector.

Leena Klossner, Nordic Development Fund, presented a case study from Cambodia on adaptation options in the transport sector, noting how changing weather patterns, such as variations in rainfall patterns, impact transport infrastructure. Klossner emphasized the need for sound data, for example on rainfall and hydrographic modeling, to identify the most vulnerable areas, and stressed that maintenance of existing systems represents “one of the most powerful adaptation options.”

Underscoring the predicted rise in extreme weather events from climate change, Carlos Fuller, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, stated that the Central American region is highly vulnerable, such as to increased hurricane activity from the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but few countries have conducted vulnerability studies in the transport sector. 

Acevedo-Daunas highlighted the need for proactive assessments to understand the vulnerability of the transport sector, while identifying several ways to “amend the deficit,” including: awareness raising; production of handbooks and toolkits; and knowledge dissemination, including country workshops.

Annete Lutz, GIZ, addressed the role of insurance in the context of climate change adaptation, noting that no weather-related risk insurance project yet exists to assess possible damages in the transport sector. She presented a project in Peru on insurance for climate adaptation, the Extreme El Niño Index Insurance Product, and identified four risk management approach steps: identifying risk; risk analysis; risk prevention and reduction, including maintenance; and risk transfer and retention.

Mikko Ollikainen, Adaptation Fund, introduced the Fund, stating that since 2010, about 30 adaptation projects in vulnerable developing countries have been approved, but that the transport sector has so far had limited representation.

Evangelos Mitsakis, Hellenic Institute of Transport, reiterated key points of the discussion, including: the importance of valid data and data gathering methods; maintenance of the transport system; communication tools; responses to extreme weather that can disrupt transport systems; and communication strategies, in particular for discussions with politicians.

Aymen Osman Ali, AfDB, identified specific challenges in Africa regarding the implementation of sustainable transport systems, including gaps in transport infrastructure and lack of financing for upgrades or maintenance.

The ensuing discussion considered, inter alia: strategies to convince politicians to justify additional budget resources to invest in climate-resilience transport infrastructure; development banks facilitating decisionmaker engagement in the topic; the need for sound data, including vulnerability mapping; vulnerabilities of bridges; and financing strategies.

ENSURING EFFECTIVE TRANSPORT NAMAS: ENABLING MRV OF TRANSPORT NAMAS: Holger Dalkmann facilitated the afternoon’s discussions, highlighting the challenges of measuring NAMAs and ensuring that they become successful instruments across all regions.

Daniel Bongardt presented on MRV in the transport sector, citing experiences from Beijing on the Sino-German Project on transport demand management, regarding emission qualification methodologies and tools, and quantifying emission impacts of GHGs from heavy stop-and-go traffic in the city. Describing a recent interactive workshop on policy analysis and measures, he discussed mitigation impacts, indirect effects, rebound effects and the boundaries of emission quantification. On ideas and next steps, he proposed: facilitating an expert group to shape MRV and providing practical guidance; piloting the idea of MRV blueprints for transport policies and measures; hosting country workshops on creating roadmaps for transport MRV; identifying data gaps and institutional issues; and publishing intermediate results to inform the community.

Jürg Füssler, INFRAS, presented on lessons learned from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), including: the small amount of carbon revenues from certified emission reductions when compared to the initial investment; the relatively high cost of operating many small dispersed system-approaches; and the dynamic character of many host country transport systems with high growth rates, where determining emission levels in absence of a CDM baseline is difficult. Füssler stressed that the effect of efficiency improvements is the easiest to determine, saying the shift effect between transport modes and avoidance measures are difficult to quantify.

Hilda Martinez, EMBARQ, presented an overview of the Mitigation Accounting Standards due for publication in 2014 by WRI’s GHG Protocol, an initiative launched in 1998 to develop international standards. She outlined the purpose of standards in gauging the effect an action would have on GHG reduction. She identified the objectives of informing mitigation strategies and tracking the effectiveness and performance of policies and instruments. She identified the time periods for implementation, monitoring and assessment of GHGs.

Steve Winkelman, Center for Clean Air Policy, presented on the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) design for Colombia’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) NAMA, explaining M&E for transport in contrast to MRV. He highlighted the need to “connect the dots” in looking holistically at problems and increasing the return on investments such as mass transit and social housing initiatives. As key points on M&E, Winkelman identified that: assessing progress and enhancing policy performance require practical and meaningful metrics; a metric for TOD areas should be compared to non-TOD areas of urban averages; and robust measurement can enhance policy performance if M&E address local priorities.

During the discussion session, participants commented on: data challenges; non-credited versus credited NAMAs; scaling up NAMA transformations; and MRV efforts and sustainable development indicators.

FINANCING OF SUSTAINABLE, LOW CARBON TRANSPORT: Benoit Lefevre, EMBARQ, moderated the event on access to finance and the capacity of finance, including cost-effective financial instruments, to shift to sustainable low-carbon transport.

Rafael Acevedo-Daunas provided opening remarks, noting the role of climate funds to generate actions in the transport sector, the need to work with various stakeholders to implement sustainable transport strategies, and a focus on co-benefits, such as health aspects and time savings.

Shinya Hanaoka, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, introduced a project in Thailand on the expansion of the rail network. He identified the need to perceive transport as a long-term strategy, while emphasizing the need to address infrastructure development in terms of modal shifts, connectivity and mobility.

Sean Kidney, Climate Bonds Initiative, identified opportunities and issues related to investment in sustainable transport projects, emphasizing the need for a bond strategy and citing the “Bonds and Climate Change: the State of the Market in 2013” report.

Noting that energy use from the transport sector could be reduced 20-40%, Henning Wuester, GCF, emphasized the importance of the transport sector to GHG emission reduction strategies. He underscored the need to link transport to NAMAs, stating that transport should be included within a country’s wider development strategy. Wuester highlighted the initial result areas adopted by the GCF Board in October 2013, including a focus on low-emission transport, a focus on cities, and synergies between mitigation and adaptation.

Kotaro Kawamata, Ministry of Environment, Japan, introduced Japan’s joint crediting mechanism (JCM) to facilitate diffusion of low carbon technologies and evaluate GHG emission reduction potential. He highlighted advantages of JCM such as a practical set of rules and guidelines, and emphasized co-benefits such as energy savings.

Based on the presentations, Matthew Jordan Tank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, provided several comments, noting the need to explore climate bonds in further detail and asking what possible areas would be appropriate for commercial financing. He addressed the “user pays” principle, asking delegates how much citizens would be willing to pay for improved infrastructure.

Jose Luis Irigoyen, World Bank, stressed the need to focus on long term finance and look for co-benefits of transport strategies, stressing that if a policy is designed only to reduce GHG emissions, it will not be politically tenable, nor will it attract support and investment..

Niklas Hohne, Ecofys, urged participants to “be creative,” using different financial resources or redirecting existing financial flows towards climate-friendly development projects.

Panelists next discussed, inter alia: transitioning from brown to green investment, focusing on co-benefits; identifying regulatory issues and support; establishing clear definitions; and encouraging development banks to drive relevant concepts. Delegates then commented on: perceiving transport as a long-term emissions reduction strategy; addressing behavior change in the transport sector; and funding schemes in different global regions.


During this plenary session, the chairs of the different break-out groups reported back on the discussions, highlighting the key challenges of each theme, identifying key points to disseminate to the UNFCCC, and proposing priority actions for the future.

From the session on the mitigation potential of transport, Michael Replogle lamented insufficient analysis of the benefits of low-carbon sustainable transport, and called for stronger outreach, cooperation and data sharing. He outlined: better aggregating and dis-aggregating of analysis models; becoming more effective in communicating, particularly in reporting to policymakers; and clarifying the migration potential narrative. On future actions, he said the SLoCaT partners should establish evaluations of the development impact of sustainable, low carbon transport on health, safety and equity, and use this to support the UN Environment Programme’s Gap Analysis on the mitigation potential of the transport sector. He further suggested linking mitigation potential to MRV/NAMA development to add rigorous sustainability analyses to national and local low-carbon action plans.

On policymaking on sustainable low carbon transport systems in the developing world, session chair Andreas Kopp summarized the debate and urged the transport sector to get the prices right, beginning with reducing subsidies to advance technological and modal change, and to determine what influences the weight of different transport policies. Warning that sunken investments lead to irreversibility, he reminded delegates that geography, country size and population density are key. He further suggested that participants: use information and technology policies as well as regulation to improve the energy efficiency of transport; pay more attention to how passenger transport shapes the size and form of cities; invest in non-motorized transport; think of how freight transport connects between organizations and the broader macro-policy environment; and develop country diagnostics on the basis of session outcomes.

Daniel Bongardt, chair of the session on ensuring affective transport NAMAs, concluded that: stakeholder involvement is crucial; the transport sector should prioritize transformational changes; NAMAs are appropriate instruments to combine climate change mitigation with sustainable benefits; and participants should actively pursue MRV of sustainable benefits and GHG emissions to facilitate decision making. He cited the action words of “do,” “measure,” “learn” and “scale up” as directives necessary to change approaches. On future actions, he identified that data quality needs to be improved and robust yet simple, and MRV should be standardized.

Session chair Rafael Acevedo-Daunas reported back on the discussion on integrating adaptation in transport policies, suggesting that the transport sector prioritize improvements in infrastructure engineering, including: establishing standards and technical specifications; sharing best practices in erosion control, rainwater management, and coastal protection; maintenance; and considering mitigation and adaptation together. He said any action requires a multi-sectoral approach and called for risk assessment and analysis, saying transport is only feasible when good engineering and maintenance are in place. On future actions, he highlighted the need to: augment Adaptation Funds for transportation; increase capacity building; involve decision makers; disseminate lessons learned on engineering; and solve the lack of data.

Benoit Lefevre, session chair on financing sustainable, low-carbon transport stressed the importance of matching financing with actual needs, including local passenger volume, financial instruments, and capacity building. He regretted the lack of long-term commitments from governments in comparison to the appetite of long-term private investors, and highlighted the need to define criteria for climate-friendly transport. On future actions, Lefevre emphasized “we need another transport day,” and proposed: adaptation; developing a cost-effective instrument or comprehensive integrated financial strategy; maintenance of old transport infrastructure; and designing definition criteria.


 Cornie Huizenga, SLoCAT, moderated the event, asking delegates to consider future transport systems, especially in light of climate change.

Rachel Kyte, World Bank, highlighted that transport systems shape cities and how people live and move, which consequently shape GHG emissions and resilience. She emphasized building and delivering integrated, safe and clean transport systems which address not only mitigation or adaptation but also broader sustainability aspects, such as improved air quality or increasing a city’s competitiveness.

Johanna Baczewska, Warsaw Trams, emphasized the need for more ecological transport, while looking at the existing systems and carbon emissions of daily habits. She stressed that transport strategies should be “touchable” on the ground.

Andre Dzikus, UN-HABITAT, identified the link between land management, urban planning and transport planning to support compact, dense, mixed-use cities, while highlighting the economic, social and environmental benefits of sustainable transport. Stressing the role of youth inclusion to facilitate innovation in the transport sector, he also pointed to a concept of “experiential learning” or experiencing transport systems in reality.

Evelyn Araripe, Youngo Representative, underscored the need to make discussions on transport systems interesting for youth and civil society. Pointing to Warsaw’s public transport network, she stated that youth understand topics, such as transport, by experiencing them.

Florian Kirchesch, Leonardo Da Vinci School, Potsdam, Germany, spoke from the audience about an interactive experimental learning project conducted by his middle school students during Transport Day, in which students interviewed delegates, asking “What is your solution to address the climate crisis?”

Michael Replogle introduced the “Warsaw Statement on Low Carbon Transport and Sustainable Development.” He emphasized that transport should find common ground and co-benefits with the sustainable development agenda, such as safer streets, fewer fatalities, improved air and water quality or financial savings. Noting the Statement already had 500 signatories, he underlined that it will help lift sustainable transport within the climate negotiations.

The ensuing discussion addressed, inter alia: making transport strategies “touchable” and going out to discuss transport with citizens to see what they actually want, for example inner-city cycling infrastructure, then taking this to political leaders; replicating transport strategies that are politically popular and feasible; balancing short-term political and financial cycles with long-term transport strategies; reorienting existing policy and financial tools; stressing political leadership; and improving dialogue, including within the transport sector, with politicians and civil society.


The Warsaw Statement on Low Carbon Transport and Sustainable Development was adopted at 5.36 pm and will be presented to climate negotiators during COP 19.

Heather Allen closed the meeting, thanking participants, organizers and partner organizations, and stressing the need to make discussions on transport interesting to attract bright and clever minds to address future transport strategies.

Rafael Acevedo then welcomed delegates to Lima for the 2014 UN Climate Change Conference, where discussions on the transport sector can continue.


The Warsaw Statement was presented at Transport Day 2013, then sent to UNFCCC Parties present at COP 19. It builds on previous low carbon transport declarations including, inter alia: the 2005 Aichi Statement, the 2009 Bellagio Declaration, the 2009 Amsterdam Declaration, the 2009 Bellagio Declaration, the 2010 Bangkok Declaration, the 2011 Bogotá Declaration and the 2013 Bali Declaration.

The Warsaw Statement acknowledges GHG emissions from the transport sector and calls on parties to provide the right policy instruments via an integrated approach to sustainable low-carbon transport, so that transport will play a more prominent role in national emissions targets. The Statement received over 100 endorsements from international organizations, bilateral and multilateral agencies, civil society, businesses, and research organizations, and over 400 personal endorsements.

Acknowledging rapid increases in GHG emissions from the transport sector, and the projected expansion of private vehicle use and freight transport, the Warsaw Statement calls for enhancing current policy and investment programmes to reduce land transport emissions. It calls on Parties to develop and strengthen suitable policy instruments, financial incentives, institutional capacity and governance strategies to promote sustainable low carbon land transport, taking both mitigation and adaptation strategies into account. Calling for an integrated approach, the Warsaw Statement recognizes the need to deliver environmental benefits while supporting sustainable development, shared prosperity and equity considerations, particularly the provision of suitable transport options for women, youth and the disadvantaged.

Signatories to the Warsaw Statement call upon Parties to adopt an integrated sustainable transport approach, to sharply reduce emissions in line with the 2°C target, and to deliver strategies which emphasize co-benefits, including: reducing deaths and injuries from road accidents; expanding access to sustainable transport; reducing traffic congestion; and eliminating fossil fuel subsidies. Signatories also call on Parties to advance work on the transport-energy-carbon emission nexus, supported by required financing, capacity building and financial mechanisms to promote technology transfer for low-carbon transport.

Signatories call on Parties at COP 19 to: strengthen developed countries’ pre-2020 GHG mitigation commitments in land transport; support developing countries’ strategies on transport; explore ways to strengthen financial incentives underutilized in the land transport sector, including NAMAs; demonstrate support for complementary measures in other multilateral forums including the Post-2015 Framework and the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit planned for September 2014; and provide long-term funding.

More information can be found at


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