Sustainable transport guidelines endorsed

OECD proposes "viable strategy" to achieve huge cuts in environmental impacts by 2030

Guidelines for achieving environmentally sustainable transport (EST) by 2030 have been endorsed by participants at an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conference hosted by the Austrian environment ministry in Vienna. The guidelines set challenging environmental objectives and call for work to begin now towards their achievement.

Prepared under an OECD programme on EST, the guidelines are intended to contribute to implementation of the UN climate change convention and of a 1999 World Health Organisation transport, health and environment charter (ENDS Daily 15 June 1999) and a 1997 UN Economic Commission for Europe transport and environment declaration (ENDS Daily 11 November 1997).

Sweeping improvements in transport's environmental performance should and can be achieved within one generation, or by 2030, the guidelines assert. These include emission cuts from a 1990 baseline of 80% for carbon dioxide, 90% for volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen, and between 55% and 99% for fine particulates. Noise should be limited to 55 decibels during the day and 45 decibels - a cut of over half from current exposures - and the amount of land used for transport infrastructure should probably fall.

Aimed at policy makers, the guidelines set out a structured route towards attainment of these objectives. Having developed a long-term vision, they say, long-term transport trends should be assessed and health and environmental quality objectives defined. Quantified, sector-specific targets should then be set. Strategies to achieve the aims should be identified, assessed and then implemented and monitored. Broad societal support should be built for EST programmes.

Follow Up:
OECD, tel: +33 1 45 24 82 00; environmentally sustainable transport pages, information on the Vienna conference and the EST guidelines.

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