UNCTAD to Push Sustainability into Freight Transport Systems
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) convenes meeting on ways to build sustainability into freight transport systems, including shipping, to boost trade with and between developing countries.
According to UNCTAD, governments, shipping companies and trading industries will need to balance economic, social and environmental concerns to achieve sustainability in maritime transport, experts will say at an UNCTAD meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on 21–23 November.
Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport, Trade Logistics and Trade Facilitation comes just months after the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations specialized agency responsible for the safety, security and cleanliness of shipping, adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships.
The IMO decarbonization strategy represents the first global framework for shipping and follows the commitments made by countries in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015.
Sustainable transport encompasses three dimensions: the economy (an efficient and competitive transport sector); society (an inclusive transport industry that leaves no one behind); and the environment (clean transport that does not pollute the planet).
Growing momentum on sustainability and climate action, rising awareness about the strategic role of maritime transport, and rapid growth in innovative technological advances, are making the balancing of these three dimensions more and more possible.
“The exponential growth and potential of digitalization entail a transformative effect on the world as we know it. Digitalization is already reshaping the transport and logistics operating landscape and, depending on its pace and extent, will ultimately redefine the underlying business models,” Shamika N. Sirimanne, UNCTAD’s director of technology and logistics, said.
“In the run up to the next international climate meeting, COP 24, at the beginning of December in Poland, everyone involved in transport and trade logistics needs to come together and put sustainability at the top of the agenda,” she said.
On its opening day on 21 November, participants at the expert meeting will consider the state of play of the climate discussions at the IMO and the operational, technical and policy aspects of decarbonization in international shipping, including market-based mechanisms like carbon pricing.