Ban Ki-Moon challenges the transport sector to take action on climate change

Leipzig: The transport sector must do more to combat climate change, including being part of the action at December's summit on global warming in Paris, the United Nations Secretary-General has urged.

Ban Ki-Moon issued the challenge to global transport leaders at the International Transport Forum, which is meeting in Germany, to talk about the industry's critical role in climate change, calling on officials to be "champions" within their industry.

International Energy Agency data shows that in 2012 the transport sector was responsible for nearly 23 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.

In a video address, Mr Ban said sustainable transport was "a common thread" linking the upcoming UN Summit in September in New York and the world climate change conference in Paris in December.

"It is time to reshape the world's transport systems for a cleaner, safer and more sustainable future."

He also called on transport ministers to accelerate efforts to combat climate change and "find new green solutions".

"All of us most do more, the global thermostat continues to rise."

Political leaders, particularly those from Europe, were keen to talk about transport's role in reducing climate change during the conference.

But Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, who was speaking at the conference in his role as Infrastructure and Transport Minister, said Australia had done more than most countries to meet its Kyoto obligations.

He highlighted Australia's unique transport challenges given its place in the globe and role as a major exporter, and said any action at the Paris meeting needed to include a commitment from developing nations to do their bit for climate change.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria shared a stage with Mr Truss and repeated his views that pricing emissions was an important tool to combat climate change.

A declaration from the more than 50 countries, including Australia, says the forum recognises the new international climate agreement in Paris "should encourage mainstreaming of low carbon transport in global policies on climate change and sustainable development."

A new coalition of transport groups, the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate, are trying to use the December meeting to push their cause.

The alliance includes the International Public Transport Association, the International Union of Railways and Michelin.

Part of their pitch to the conference includes having trains arrive in the French Capital for the conference from capitals across Eurasia including Russia, Mongolia and China.

The journalist travelled to Germany as a guest of the International Transport Forum.

This story Ban Ki-Moon challenges the transport sector to take action on climate change first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.