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      Sustainable transport draws path to global green development

      Xinhua | Updated: 2021-10-17 07:15
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      The Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference closes in Beijing, Oct 16, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

      BEIJING -- Displays of diversified versions of shared bikes with sustainable concepts, a 6.5-kilometer-long dedicated road for bicycles, and mega airports well-connected with public transport networks are not only the highlights of the exhibition area at the Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference, but also represent the green pursuits of more Chinese people.

      "Sustainable development in transportation is definitely where the industry is going," said Kang Chunhua, an expert at the International Science and Technology Department of Beijing Daxing International Airport.

      Kang made the remarks at the just-concluded UN conference that gathered representatives from 171 countries to discuss online and offline solutions to achieve safe, accessible, green and resilient transport.

      The importance of sustainable transport should be stressed to boost green development. According to the conference press release, transport is one of the single largest contributors to air and carbon pollution emissions globally, accounting for about 64 percent of total oil consumption and 27 percent of all energy use.

      It should be clear that renewable energy cannot be left out and that more policies are needed, Hannah E. Murdock, a project manager and analyst at global think tank REN21, said during a thematic session at the conference, highlighting the role of renewable energy in facilitating decarbonization in the transport sector.

      Peter Newman, a professor of sustainability at Curtin University, Australia, also underscored electric mobility and hydrogen as critical innovations in sustainable transport.

      Providing examples of low-carbon transport, Newman said that the use of electric vehicles, including electric cars, e-bikes, e-buses, as well as the public transport system in general, is rapidly accelerating. He said, "China is one of the leaders in how this can be done."

      China has unveiled a development plan for its new energy vehicle (NEV) industry between 2021 and 2035 that aims to accelerate the country's transition to an automotive powerhouse.

      The proportion of new NEVs in the sales of new vehicles is expected to rise to 20 percent by 2025, and automobiles used in public transportation will be entirely electric by 2035, according to the plan.

      "We must funnel both public and private resources towards sustainable infrastructure in developing countries, to drive a recovery from the pandemic that accelerates progress across the Sustainable Development Goals," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

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