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IRU puts road transport industry decarbonisation plan on stage at COP28
United Arab Emirates | Dubai

IRU puts road transport industry decarbonisation plan on stage at COP28

7 Dec 2023 · Environment

Putting operational and economic pragmatism on the agenda, IRU’s Secretary General unpacked commercial road transport’s roadmap to carbon neutrality at the UNFCCC COP28 in Dubai this week. 

Speaking on two COP28 panels organised by ERCST and Deloitte, IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto has outlined the road transport industry’s collective commitment and roadmap to carbon neutrality but warned delegates on the need to remain practical in order to deliver real change.

IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto said, “Road transport plays a pivotal role in achieving all UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the industry itself has committed to become carbon neutral by 2050. But this will only happen if governments here at COP28 listen to the industry.

“Governments need to provide the right enabling conditions for road transport operators to drive efficiency wins and, at the same time, invest over the medium term in sustainable alternative fuel technologies. This ‘duplex’ approach is the only way forward.

“With the right economic and regulatory frameworks, infrastructure and operational support, transport companies will deliver on carbon neutrality by 2050.”

“We also can’t forget about proven tried-and-tested UN tools. How can trucks inching forward at borders for hours, days and even weeks while emitting CO₂ emissions, for example, be in any way construed as sustainably contributing to economic development, social equity and environmental protection? This can easily be solved with the TIR system,” he added.

IRU puts road transport industry decarbonisation plan on stage at COP28

With transport decarbonisation on the agenda at COP28, IRU has also published a major new research project that assesses the most productive, least disruptive and most cost-effective way for the commercial road transport sector to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Countries have vastly different transport, energy and development patterns. There is no one single solution to decarbonise transport.

“With a flexible framework, the IRU Green Compact enables the commercial road transport sector – in collaboration with governments, suppliers and clients – to drive proven efficiency wins and scale up operationally and economically pragmatic solutions based on alternative fuels to deliver on our net-zero commitment,” concluded Umberto de Pretto.

Umberto de Pretto also held talks on decarbonisation pathways with key stakeholders, including the World Bank, World Free Zone Organisation and the World Business Council For Sustainable Development.

Additionally, to further foster cooperation between the industry and governments, IRU and the International Transport Forum (ITF) also signed a cooperation agreement in Dubai ahead of next year’s ITF Annual Summit, under the theme “Greening Transport: Keeping Focus in Times of Crisis”.