UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Press Release


UNECE promotes green and health-friendly investment and jobs in transport

Geneva, 13 December 2010 --

“Green and health-friendly investment and jobs in transport » was the subject of THE PEP 2010 Symposium. The symposium was held under The Pan-European Programme on Transport, Health and Environment and (THE PEP), run jointly by UNECE and the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe. THE PEP aims to encourage transport, health and environment policymakers to work together toward sustainable transport goals adopted by ministers in Amsterdam at a High-level Meeting in 2009.

This first ever PEP symposium focused on the first of the Amsterdam Goals: To contribute to sustainable economic development and stimulate job creation through investment in environment- and health-friendly transport.

According to the High-level Meeting, this should be achieved by “directing investment towards the development of transport infrastructure that promotes safety, environment and health and has the highest job creation potential, including rail and light rail, clean and efficient public transport, efficient intermodal connections, safety measures in road transport and infrastructure for active and environmentally friendly transport” (like walking and cycling).

THE PEP 2010 Symposium featured Mr. René Longet, presently the mayor of the city of Onex in the canton of Geneva and President of Equiterre, an NGO for sustainable development, as key note speaker. Mr. Longet highlighted practical examples of green mobility initiated in some parts of Switzerland, such as encouraging civil servants to walk and cycle to work.

Some conclusions of THE PEP Symposium included:

  • New partnerships encompassing the three sectors of transport, health and environment to achieve sustainable mobility are possible and emerging
  • Strategic initiatives can be implemented at the local level, including within the tourism industry, an effective entry point for green job creation
  • A focus on public and private incentives to invest in green jobs in transport can offer sustainable political benefits
  • Given the current economic situation, sound scientific evidence (e.g. on the economic and health benefits of active transport like walking and cycling) is crucial to encourage policymakers to institute change.

THE PEP Symposium was held back-to-back with the 8th session of THE PEP Steering Committee and a meeting of THE PEP Bureau, which considered the results of recent workshops, including a workshop on Safe and Healthy Walking and Cycling in Urban Areas (September 2010, Batumi, Georgia) and one on Sustainable and Healthy Urban Transport Policies (June 2010, Skopje) to consider the contribution by THE PEP to the Environment for Europe (EfE) Ministerial Conference in September 2011 in Astana.

For further information on THE PEP please consult http://www.unece.org/thepep/en/welcome.htm or contact [email protected].

Ref: ECE/ENV/10/P42