Transport and Energy: The Challenge of Climate Change

Leipzig Congress Centre
28-30 May 2008

Final Programme  --  Russian Version

Key Messages  --  Russian Version

Research Findings

Anu Vehviläinen, Minister of Transport, Finland

Minister of Transport

The International Transport Forum was launched by Transport Ministers to attract additional public and political attention to the strategic importance of the transport sector and the immense challenges it faces. Mobility is part of the fabric of our modern societies to the extent that we often take it for granted. But the issues at stake are in fact complex and policy-makers and private stakeholders increasingly need to work together to address them at all levels. Global warming and transport is without doubt one of the most compelling such challenges we face.

It is a privilege for Finland to be the first country to preside over the International Transport Forum and its first annual meeting. On behalf of the Ministers of the Forum's 51 Member Countries, it gives me great pleasure to bring this important event to your attention. We hope to have the pleasure of seeing many of you in Leipzig.

Wolfgang Tiefensee

Minister of Transport

An efficient and innovative mobility sector that organizes economically and ecologically efficient traffic flows and processes is a key prerequisite for growth and employment. Our prospects for the future are thus directly dependent on the efficiency of the transport system. At the same time, greater efficiency also means less energy consumption, thereby making a contribution to the security of energy supply for transport and reducing CO2 emissions from transport, especially when it is combined with the use of new technologies. There is enormous scope for greater efficiency in transport planning and operations, and exchanging experience at an international level is an excellent way to achieve these gains.

Leipzig has for centuries been an economic hub and an important trade route. It is a particularly apt venue for the first meeting of the International Transport Forum, which is to be held from 28 to 30 May 2008. Invitations have been extended to prominent representatives from industry, civil society and the research community, creating the conditions for Leipzig to host a truly international "think tank" on energy and greenhouse gas emission strategies in the transport sector.

Jack Short

Secretary General
International Transport Forum

Climate change and growing energy consumption are the subject of increasing political attention worldwide. For transport, finding the right balance between facilitating access and exchanges and reducing transport emissions and dependence on oil is perhaps the greatest challenge that the sector has faced.

The Forum provides a unique opportunity for sector leaders - both private and public - to chart the strategies and measures that will need to be put in place, nationally and internationally, if the sector is to contribute to the aim to reduce global emissions by around 50% over the next half century. Preparatory work, for example on instruments, alternative fuels and behaviour is providing new ideas and analyses on the options available and on their effectiveness and costs. This combination of key actors and up-to-date analysis provides the essential ingredients for the sector to set out an ambitious and responsible way forward.