RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (20 June, 2012)â€”The eight largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) announced today that they will invest US$175 billion to finance more sustainable transportation systems over the coming decade, boosting equitable economic development and protecting the environment and public health across the developing world.
Congestion, air pollution, road accidents and transport related climate change can cost 5-10% of GDP per year. The transportation sector is now the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases as a result of decades of urban planning that focused on improving mobility for automobiles at the expense of public transport users, cyclists and pedestrians. This approach has made life much more difficult for people in cities, especially the urban poor.
The voluntary commitments are an outcome of the Rio+20 campaign of the Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), ITDP, a multi-stakeholder partnership including UN-organizations, MDBs and other development organizations, including GIZ, NGOs and business sector organizations. 16 additional voluntary commitments were made by 13 organizations (including GIZ) on sustainable transport; the total pledged today will give millions of people across the world better access to schools, hospitals, jobs and markets.
"Never before have these institutions collaborated on such a global scale. The breakthrough that we are witnessing allows us to plan for the one billion people who will move to cities over the next 20 years and the one billion people still living in poverty" says Cornie Huizenga, joint convener of the SLoCaT Partnership and organizer of the SLoCaT Rio+20 campaign.
The rapid pace of urbanization around the world is transforming the transportation sector. Although Latin America is already highly urbanized, cities in Africa and especially Asia are still mushrooming in size. It is expected that China and India alone will add 500 million people to their urban population in the next 20 years. This growth demands transportation systems that can prevent or overcome patterns of sprawl and congestion and ensure access to goods and services.
"This large MDB commitment on transport is an important contribution towards putting in place collaborative long term finance for the transport sector. Together with the other transport-related voluntary commitments made by members of the SLoCaT partnership, the MDB commitment can help effective measurable implementation of Sustainable Development," says Brice Lalonde, one of the two executive coordinators of the Rio+20 Conference.