Eight multilateral development banks led by the Asian Development Bank pledged $175-Billion in loans and grants as part of their voluntary commitments on sustainable transport for developing countries over the next decade in an announcement on Wednesday at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) .
The (Sustainable Low Carbon Transport) SLoCaT coalition, UN, multilateral banks in a joint statement reported that time losses and higher transport costs due to road congestion costs an estimated 5-10% of gross domestic product in developing countries and high pollution levels contributes to the premature death of 500,000 in Asian countries anually. Nearly 2,000 people are also killed due to road accidents. These are all attributed to poor transport which exacerbate poverty and inequality, as they inhibit access to schools, healthcare, markets and job opportunities.
With the transport sector currently accounting for 23% of global energy-related C02 emissions, it is expected to rapidly increase by nearly 50% by 2030 and at an alarming 80% by 2050. ADB President Haruhiko Kurdo called for the International community to make sustainable transport as a key priority under the new post 2015 development framework.
This new framework includes eniviromentally sustainable transport solutions like green freight, railways, bus rapid transit, and the promotion of road safety, which governments in developing Asian countries need to adapt in their current and future policies.
"Never before have these institutions collaborated on such a global scale. The breakthrough that we are witnessing allows us to plan for the one billion people who will move to cities over the next 20 years and the one billion people still living in poverty," said Cornie Huizenga, joint convener of the SLoCaT Partnership and organizer of the SLoCaT Rio+20 campaign.