iRAP welcomes the signing of a Road Sector Joint Statement at COP27 this week with leading road transport organisations restating their firm commitment to effectively reduce CO2 emissions to net-zero by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement.

Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals depends on efficient multi-modal transport systems and services where roads play a central role.  Effective road transport, road networks, tunnels and bridges, and the associated services are thus essential to ensure the sustainable mobility of people and goods and to ensure we leave no one behind.

Safety must be at the heart of planet-saving transport planning.

Ensuring safe journeys for all road users as they transition multi-modes of transport in their daily commute and ensuring the comfort and safety of walking, cycling and mass transit travel is critical to the public adoption of more climate-friendly transport modes and reduced emissions.

Two recent reports of our major donor, the FIA Foundation, and global partners, have highlighted the crucial links between safe cycling and walking infrastructure and reduced Greenhouse gas emissions, lower transport costs, and the prevention of road traffic fatalities and injuries compared to investment in other infrastructure.

The joint Statement outlines that NOW is the time to act with pragmatism, ensure a just transition, and embrace innovation. For this, we need to:

  • Embrace system thinking and digitalisation without compromising the services we provide and without undermining a network (roads, tunnels and bridges) that serves all other transport modes, including active mobility and mass transport.
  • Invest in hard infrastructure (such as missing links, network upgrades, underground transport and border crossings) and soft measures (such as regulations, ICTs, standards, and the exchange of information) and remove bottlenecks of any nature.
  • Take regional and local specificities into consideration. Countries, cities, have different transport and energy landscapes, with widely different challenges.
  • Develop adequate and targeted incentives to encourage faster uptake of the best available technology and practices and to research and develop new solutions.
  • Enhance efficiency improvements at all levels through wider use of digitalisation and ITS.
  • Put in place an adequate energy and technology mix and strategies that are flexible and backed up by agile financing mechanisms that can support the transition towards more resilient and sustainable transport.
  • Increase financial support to adapt and upgrade existing infrastructure to both the threats posed by climate change but also to the adjustments that the energy transition requires.
  • Develop the institutional capacity and labour force skills to plan and deliver change. As shown during the pandemic, new levels of agility and pragmatic approaches are possible and must be pursued.

iRAP is supporting governments, industry, development banks and funding institutions, mobility clubs, road safety NGOs and research organisations in more than 100 countries with the globally recognized methodology, tools, training and support to make their roads safer and more climate friendly and resilient.

iRAP and its partners have Star Rated more than 1.4 million kilometres of roads, designs and school journeys, and Risk Mapped more than 1.6 million kilometres across the world providing a safety rating from 1 to 5-stars for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and vehicle occupants. The results have informed evidence-based Safer Roads Investment Plans and the safety of more than USD$80 billion of infrastructure investment. 54,000 people have been trained in how to make their roads safer and practitioners accredited in more than 45 countries, building institutional capacity for the local management of road infrastructure safety.

Through the iRAP Innovation Framework, global and local innovations and tools are being embraced, supported and managed to ensure the local relevance and consistent application of the global road infrastructure safety standard that lies at the heart of UN Global Road Safety Performance Targets 3 and 4 – for all new roads to be built to a 3-star or better standard for all road users (Target 3), and more than 75% of travel is on the equivalent of 3-star or better roads for all road users by 2030 (Target 4).

iRAP stands ready to support partners and governments as they draw on the Global Plan for the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 to develop and implement national and local action plans to halve global road deaths and injuries by 2030 and effectively reduce CO2 emissions to net-zero by 2050.

The Road Sector Joint Statement for COP27 is a partnership initiative of the European Association of Tollway Operators (ASECAP), International Road Federation (IRF), ERTICO, European Union Road Federation (ERF), International Road Transport Union (IRU), African Road Maintenance Funds Administration (ARMFA) and International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA-AITES).

The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), is the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference and is being held from 6 November until 18 November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

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The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) IS A REGISTERED CHARITY WITH UN ECOSOC CONSULTATIVE STATUS
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Charity number 1140357

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