World Sustainable Transport Day 2023: Why is it Important, and City With Most Sustainable Transport System

Published By: Nibandh Vinod

Last Updated: November 26, 2023, 06:55 IST

World Sustainable Transport Day is celebrated annually across the globe on November 26. (Image: Shutterstock)

Sustainable Transport Day is an initiative that celebrates modes of transport which help in energy conservation and protection of the planet and its resources.

Sustainable transport encompasses the use of energy-efficient, low or zero-emission, and affordable modes of conveyance. This includes a range of vehicles from manual bicycles to electric scooters, bikes, and cars, as well as the utilization of alternative fuels like biodiesel, ethanol, and hydrogen. World Sustainable Transport Day is an initiative that celebrates such modes of transport which help in energy conservation and protection of the planet and its resources. The World Sustainable Transport Day is celebrated annually across the globe on November 26.

The importance of sustainable transport

It was the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that, on May 16, this year, declared that World Sustainable Transport Day would be celebrated on November 26, each year. The initiative was undertaken as the UNGA had recognised the importance of transport and transit corridors in regard to international cooperation for sustainable development. The seeds of the idea were planted during the first United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference in 2016.

Sustainable transport is essential to secure “stable and reliable international transport for sustainable development during and after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic,” as per the UNGA report on the resolution to adopt World Sustainable Transport Day. Securing sustainable transport is necessary to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The existing modes of transportation and the reliance on fossil fuels pose significant harm to the planet. The combustion of petrol or diesel generates toxic emissions such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, unburnt hydrocarbons, and particulate matter.

When these pollutants seep into the soil or contaminate water supplies, they can result in severe health issues, including liver damage and birth defects. In contrast, electric vehicles represent a cleaner alternative, producing minimal pollution and exhibiting higher energy efficiency.

City with the most sustainable transport system

The 2023 Sustainable Transport Award was given to Paris, France, while Bhubaneswar, India received an honourable mention. The award recognises the contributions of the city of Paris to improve its transportation system via policies that promote and ensure sustainability, accessibility and inclusion. Last year, Bogotá in Columbia won the award.

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