Speaking notes for the Minister for the Environment, Sharon Dijksma, at the NL Pavilion Transport side event (presentation of the results of the 80 Days Campaign), 7 December 2015, 12.00.
'By greening transport, we will be taking a giant step in the right
direction. Most countries have put sustainable transport high on the agenda.
What we need to do now is put these actions in the spotlight and link them with
transport organisations’ ambitions. With this publication, we will help speed
This said Environment minister Dijksma today at the presentation of the publication of examples from various countries of sustainable transport. The Netherlands took this initiative on invitation by the UN and France.
Ladies and gentlemen,
You will all know the book Around the World in 80 Days. It was written by Jules Verne and published in 1873. In the book, Phileas Fogg bets that he can travel around the world in 80 days. A formidable challenge but not a mission impossible. Phileas completes his journey spot on time.
The story is not science fiction but an exploration.
New modes of transport – steam trains and ships – and modern infrastructure, like railways and iron bridges, gave rise to unprecedented opportunities in the late nineteenth century.
Verne showed his readers a new world. His book inspired the journey the Netherlands set out on seventy-six days ago. In four days’ time, we will have travelled around the world in eighty days.
As part of the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate (PPMC), the Netherlands collected and showcased best practices among low carbon transport initiatives. This was requested by the UN and France, bearing in mind that the Netherlands is a true transport nation.
This too was an exploration of new opportunities in the transport world. Not science fiction, but reality.
And it was an inspiring journey!
The harvest was rich and varied. With more than a hundred best practices, from more than forty countries. And new initiatives are being added every day.
We can see various trends. Electrification is moving forward in all forms of
transport. For instance:
-the battery-powered electric car ferry in Norway;
-the electric highway for trucks in Sweden;
-the hybrid electric aircraft in France;
-and the hydrogen fuel-cell car in Korea and Japan.
We are also seeing a great many initiatives working towards CO2-neutral
–the Guangdong Green Freight Demonstration Project in China, for example. A road project that shows how a substantial reduction in emissions can be achieved.
–Alstom in France is a good example of a company that focuses on energy efficiency in rail transport. Its new generation of trains will run on hydrogen.
-And a business case from Kenya, showing how flowers can be transported all over the world more sustainably, at less expense, and at less cost to the environment. I could give many more examples that we have collected and showcased for you in this publication.
What is the aim?
You know the facts: the transport sector plays a key role in climate policy. Transport accounts for a quarter of all global emissions. And the transport sector is a major consumer of energy. It’s also a fast-growing sector.
By greening transport, we will be taking a giant step in the right direction.
Most countries have put sustainable transport high on the agenda. More than 60% have included specific action in the field of transport in their INDCs.
There is ambition, awareness and movement in the right direction. What we
need to do now is put these actions in the spotlight and link them with
transport organisations’ ambitions.
We have shown that we can do it, that it is happening and that we can learn from each other. This is how to create critical mass and, hopefully, move forward.
With this publication, we will help speed things up.
Before I present this publication to the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate, I would like to say two more things.
First, I’d like to thank the members of the task force – the people at TNO and SLocaT – for their work. I’m proud to say that thanks to you I can give the transport sector such a rich source of inspiration!
Second, this is also a call to action. Because we’re not there yet. This is the end of a journey, but the start of a transition!
As a transport nation, the Netherlands wants to continue playing a role.
As the holder of the EU Presidency in the first six months of next year, we will most certainly focus on sustainable transport.
We will achieve sustainable transport if governments support initiatives, remove obstacles and create the right conditions. But companies, too, need to seize opportunities and dare to take risks.
I call on you to show that the transport sector is dynamic... ...socially
involved .... and that it hás the poténtial to réally make that new world