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Christian Labrot (IRU) speaks out on decarbonisation, automation and innovation at global transport summit
Europe | Leipzig

IRU speaks out on decarbonisation, automation and innovation at global transport summit

9 Jun 2017

The annual ITF summit last week in Leipzig, Germany, debated issues on transport governance, highlighting in particular innovation and mobility data issues. Wrapping up the meeting, transport ministers called for regulation that fosters, rather than hinders, innovation. 

IRU President Christian Labrot and Secretary General Umberto de Pretto led an active IRU presence at this important inter-governmental event, organised by the International Transport Forum. 

In high level talks, plenary and panel sessions, and press conferences, IRU demonstrated how the transport sector, and its commercial operators, are playing a key role in driving innovation. Subjects on the table included autonomous trucks, decarbonising transport, and the taxi of the future. 

This year’s summit, hosted by the Mexican Minister of Transport under the theme of governance, kicked off with the launch of a major new report on managing the transition to driverless road freight transport. Assessing various scenarios on the implementation of driverless trucks on our streets and motorways, the report was produced by IRU and the ITF, along with ACEA and ITWF, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association and the International Transport Workers Federation respectively. 

Christian Labrot followed up the report’s launch by speaking on a panel about getting the right regulation in place for automated and autonomous driving, with other participants including ministers from New Zealand and Denmark, as well as businesses including Volvo.

A special session on decarbonising transport saw Umberto de Pretto reinforcing IRU’s involvement in ITF’s global, data-driven, multi-stakeholder initiative to support the transition to carbon-free transport. Other speakers included ministers from Ireland and the Netherlands, as well as the World Bank and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

In a high-level closed ministerial session, Umberto de Pretto outlined IRU’s views on regulation for the sharing economy and in particular how to integrate transportation network companies into regulation along the “same service, same rules” principle. Participants included transport ministers from Argentina, Azerbaijan, China, Japan, Lithuania, South Africa, 

Jens Hügel, IRU’s Head of Sustainable Development and IRU’s Global Partnership for Sustainable Transport, spoke on decarbonisation of long-haul road freight at an event organised by Siemens.

The role of buses and taxis in future mobility systems was debated by Sonila Metushi, IRU’s Manager of Mobility of People and Taxis. Her session presented research from IRU’s new report that maps out scenarios for road passenger mobility to 2030.

IRU also held a wide range of bilateral talks with governments and organisations including Argentina, China, FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) and the World Bank.

South Korean Dr Young Tae Kim was elected as ITF’s new Secretary General, who will follow-on the outstanding work of former Secretary General José Viegas. IRU congratulates Dr Kim and looks forward to working closely with him. Next year’s ITF Summit will be convened around the theme of safety and security.