The year 2015 marked an important milestone in the history of climate protection. In September, the United Nations passed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which addresses the world’s most pressing challenges. At the heart of the Agenda are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), several of which aim to protect the environment and our planet. Goal 13, for example, urges us to take action now to combat climate change and its impacts. Only months later in December, at the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21), the member states pledged to limit global warming to below two degrees Celsius in a historic agreement. Many scientist agree that this threshold is vital if we are to limit the dangerous effects of climate change.
Milestones for a green world
The Paris Agreement requires all U.N. member states to work toward this climate protection goal and the 17 SDGs. These international milestones provide a roadmap. Now it’s time for governments, businesses and people around the world to do everything in their power to reach these global goals. Many are looking to logistics and transport to play a key role in achieving climate change goals. After all, transport is currently responsible for 23 percent of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. But what does that mean exactly for the future of logistics?
The U.N.’s High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport has been looking into answers to that question and others. The expert panel, which was established in 2014 by then U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, was made up of logistics experts from the private and public sectors, including Frank Appel, CEO, Deutsche Post DHL Group. The group published its first comprehensive report in 2016. In addition to analyses and estimates, the report includes a number of recommendations for government and explores to what extent transport and logistics can help achieve the SDGs. Many of the goals have a direct impact on the logistics and transport sectors. Regardless of whether you want to reduce the number of illnesses caused by air pollution or combat negative environmental impacts in cities, moving people and goods as environmentally friendly as possible is always a part of the solution. Ultimately, there is only one radical solution: zero emissions.