The Annual Summit of the International Transport Forum (ITF) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development will assemble representatives from governments, the private sector, academia, and civil society to share perspectives on transport’s role as a key enabler of inclusive and sustainable economic development.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), in collaboration with the ITF, held a roundtable discussion with delegations from the Latin American and Caribbean countries that participated in the ITF Annual Summit. The roundtable’s theme was "low-carbon transport for equitable growth", which aimed to highlight decarbonization achievements and potential in the region’s transport sector, discuss challenges and opportunities for cleaner transportation, and identify policies and projects at the forefront of efficient and equitable low-carbon mobility in the region.
Climate finance was among the most pressing topics at the summit, and multilateral organizations like the IDB can play a leading role in this area. In fact, in 2021 the IDB committed to aligning all its lending operations with Paris Agreement goals. The IDB also provides technical assistance on designing and implementing public policies for decarbonizing transportation systems and adapting them to climate change.
Additionally, it facilitates knowledge exchanges and promotes collective action in the region. "This is an unprecedented challenge for the sector: in under a decade, we have to achieve systemic change that puts us on an emissions trajectory that is sustainable for our planet. The IDB is fully committed to working with the region’s countries to take on this important task together," said Ana María Pinto, Chief of the IDB's Transport Division.
"The ITF fosters dialogue among ministers about major mobility challenges, and there is no greater challenge than achieving climate goals through an equitable transition to zero-emission transport," said ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim.
Transportation accounts for 25% of global emissions, making it the second largest contributor of CO2 from burning fossil fuels. Although the Latin America and Caribbean region contributes a small share of global CO2 emissions from transportation (9%), its emissions have been increasing, from 281 Mt of CO2 in 1990 to 595 Mt of CO2 in 2019 (IEA, 2022).
To counteract this trend, countries in the region have launched plans to promote electric mobility, encourage modal shifts to rail transport, and improve the quality of public transport, among other initiatives. "We must act boldly and decisively to decarbonize transportation. This means electrifying our vehicles, and in Chile we have made strong progress on electrifying public transport. But it also requires other actions, such as—in order of priority—reducing the number of trips, prioritizing public transport by offering higher-quality services, promoting non-motorized modes, and, finally, overhauling the technology of our fleets," said the Chilean Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, Juan Carlos Muñoz.
Renan Filho, Brazil's Minister of Transportation, explained that "in Brazil’s transportation infrastructure, we strive to reconcile sustainability with investments in roads and railroads. This balance is key to building out green and resilient infrastructure that integrates countries and drives socially just growth." Through actions like these, countries in the region are making progress toward the targets in their Nationally Determined Contributions, which are the commitments they have made in order to reach the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius (and preferably under 1.5 degrees Celsius) compared to pre-industrial levels.
Also during the ITF summit, multilateral development banks announced that from 2018 to 2022, they had contributed $3.6 billion for road safety projects in developing countries. Every year, road accidents cause 1.35 million deaths globally, and over 93% of these deaths are in developing countries. The IDB is committed to working with governments in Latin America and the Caribbean to address this global health crisis and achieve the United Nations goal of halving road fatalities in the region by 2030.
About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research projects and provides policy advice, technical assistance, and training to public- and private-sector clients throughout the region.