Wednesday was Transport Day at COP26, looking into vehicle emissions, electric transport and other advances in transportation technology.
The “Clydebank Declaration” will see at least 19 nations work towards developing net-zero shipping routes between ports, with the goal of establishing six of these routes, likely shorter ones, by the mid-2020s and more, longer routes by 2030. Some of the nations that have signed the declaration include; Australia, the US, Japan, the Netherlands and Fiji. Over 200 businesses have also started to back net-zero vessels for shipping.
18 nations representing 40% of global aviation have signed up for another declaration to support the development of emission targets in the aviation sector that align with the Paris Agreement. Businesses are also looking into growing the sustainable fuel sector for aviation, the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance has opened itself to new members with the Alliance seeking to stimulate supply chains towards sustainable fuels and to promote and encourage support for policies.
A third declaration to end new petrol and diesel car sales by 2030 and heavy good vehicles by 2040 was already known about before COP26, with the UK government wanting other nations to take such commitments on. Over 30 countries have signed up for this, along with many vehicle-based businesses. The declaration wants all new vehicle sales to be zero emission by 2035, however, the US, China and Germany, the largest car markets in the world, have not signed up for it, though cities, businesses and regions within these countries have.
Protestors, such as groups like Get Glasgow Moving and Friends of the Earth, were asking why cycling and walking were not promoted for Transport Day as well as asking for improvements to public transport to make it more accessible and low-carbon. Frustration was shown as COP26 delegates were given free access to public transport, with the public asking for it to be made free for everyone. The Scottish government has announced free bus travel for ages 22 and below, set to take effect early 2022, as well as looking to make fares cheaper as well as the potential of a ticket that works for all public transport instead of specific types.
The US and China have released a declaration together that states the two huge carbon-emitters will regularly convene work groups with a meeting already set for early 2022. Issues they plan to discuss include deforestation, methane emissions and sustainable energy. Their goal is to move from long-term plans to “concrete” actions. The two nations asked for “stepped-up efforts” to close the “significant gap” between our current commitments and a Paris Agreement aligned world.