Inside Logistics

Transport ministers agree to leverage pandemic gains

OECD transport ministers pledge recovery from pandemic offers new opportunities to reshape transport systems


May 31, 2021
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Ministers of transport from the 63 member countries of the International Transport Forum at the OECD have agreed to use recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic to transform transport.

The ministers noted that “the recovery from this pandemic offers new opportunities to reshape transport systems and shift to more resilient, efficient, sustainable and equitable mobility.”

In order to “embrace the opportunity to build back better”, the ministers committed “to show ambition, leadership and continued investment in the transition to greener and more efficient transport solutions,” in the Ministerial Declaration agreed unanimously at their Annual Council of Ministers of Transport on May 27, 2021.

Among their goals, the ministers undertake to:

  • promote urban mobility redesigns that build on the boom for walking and cycling during the pandemic;
  • ensure that new technologies and innovative mobility options foster equitable access for all citizens;
  • promote education and training and a more inclusive and fair workplace for all transport workers;
  • encourage the use of public transport;
  • foster automation, digitization and data innovation,
  • promote innovation in electrification, low- and zero-carbon fuels, hydrogen fuel cells and new-generation batteries
  • promote intermodal transport and develop interoperability.

“I have joined with the Ministers responsible for transport in the ITF member countries, under the presidency of Ireland, to outline our response to the challenges facing transport operations today,” said Eamon Ryan, minister for environment, climate, communication and transport of Ireland, who chaired the council under Ireland’s Presidency of the ITF.

“In the context of climate change and the urgent need to fundamentally reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally, coupled with digitization, automation and the impact of Covid-19, our transport systems are at a turning point. As we look to shift towards cleaner and efficient transport networks, we must innovate and drive behaviour change to ensure passengers and freight stay connected, in a sustainable manner, to the communities and businesses which need them.

Ryan added that the ITF Summit provided an opportunity for transport leaders from around the world to work together to plan route to realizing that vision.