Can we make transport safe and sustainable? An interview with motorsport chief, Jean Todt

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Many developed countries person announced plans to guarantee that fossil-fuel powered cars volition beryllium taken disconnected the roads successful the coming decades, but Jean Todt, the UN Special Envoy for Road Safety, stresses that, successful processing countries, overmuch much contiguous concerns, specified arsenic entree to nationalist transport and reducing accidents, request to beryllium addressed arsenic a priority.

Jean Todt, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Road Safety, sits down   for an interrogation  with UN News.

Jean Todt, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Road Safety, sits down for an interrogation with UN News., by UN News/Jérôme Longué

Although helium was known arsenic “Mr Speed” during his vocation arsenic a highly palmy rally co-driver successful the 1960s and 1970s, Jean Todt has turned his absorption to reducing the immense yearly decease toll from roadworthy accidents, successful his capableness arsenic UN Special Envoy for Road Safety.

Mr. Todt is good placed to remark connected the coming modulation to electrical vehicles: arsenic president of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, (FIA, the motorsports governing body), helium was instrumental successful mounting up Formula E, a afloat electrical racing championship. Whilst helium is simply a beardown proponent of electrical vehicles, Mr. Todt often advocates for the processing world, wherever immoderate benignant of car, whether electrical oregon fossil-fuel powered, is retired of the scope of galore citizens, and wherever the immense bulk of fatal roadworthy accidents occur.

UN News spoke to Mr. Todt up of the United Nations Sustainable Transport Conference, which is taking spot successful Beijing, and online, betwixt 14 to 16 October.

The Road Safety Envoy volition beryllium 1 of the speakers astatine the event, which volition absorption connected ways to trim the antagonistic environmental, societal and wellness impacts of transport, and improving entree to harmless and reliable mobility, particularly for susceptible groups.

The world’s largest nationalist   autobus  strategy   successful  Jakarta, Indonesia, is opening  a modulation  to electrical  buses.

Unsplash/Rangga Cahya Nugraha

The world’s largest nationalist autobus strategy successful Jakarta, Indonesia, is opening a modulation to electrical buses.

Transport request is expected to triple wrong the adjacent 35 years: is simply a sustainable transport aboriginal truly possible?

When it comes to transportation, determination is simply a existent discrepancy betwixt the developed satellite and the processing world. It is fascinating to perceive astir caller exertion specified arsenic electrical vehicles, oregon autonomous cars, but galore successful the processing satellite bash not adjacent person entree to nationalist transportation.

One of the aims of Sustainable Development Goal 11 is to supply each citizens with entree to nationalist transport systems by 2030, and we are acold down that target.

If we look astatine roadworthy safety, 1.3 cardinal radical dice successful roadworthy accidents each year, and 92 per cent of them are successful the processing world.

So however tin this beryllium addressed, and however tin we make a safer, much sustainable transport aboriginal created? I would accidental that, whilst it is simply a interest for everybody, the occupation indispensable yet beryllium addressed by governments.

They request to marque transport a priority. I’m French and successful 1973, immoderate 18,000 radical were killed connected the roads. Today, with 3 times arsenic galore vehicles, 3,000 died. I consciousness that, connected the roads, the processing satellite is fractional a period down the developed world.

People hold   for a airy  alteration  astatine  a pedestrian crossing successful  San Francisco, successful  the United States.

Unsplash/Yoel J Gonzalez

People hold for a airy alteration astatine a pedestrian crossing successful San Francisco, successful the United States.

If richer countries modulation to electrical vehicles, is determination are a hazard that processing countries volition beryllium flooded with combustion motor cares? what bash you deliberation that would mean for roadworthy information and for clime change?

We indispensable enactment with governments, car makers, motorbike companies, to marque definite that these countries person entree to vehicles with minimum standards.

And we cognize however to bash this: it involves education, instrumentality enforcement, bully prime infrastructure, and bully post-crash care.

With regards to clime change, “green fuel” volition beryllium a game-changer. We don’t person to hold for electrical cars to beryllium introduced each implicit the planet, we tin precise rapidly person entree to greenish fuel, and this is urgent.

You mentioned the UN extremity of entree to nationalist transport for each by 2030. How tin we execute this?

It is not an casual question. This was an important goal, but the question is however we get there, and it is hard to spot a wide roadmap to execute that result. But the important happening is to code the situation, and it is indispensable to person the ambition.

We besides request to show the improvement of these goals, which is wherefore I’m precise keen to spot what happens astatine the UN Sustainable Transport Conference successful China.

(This interrogation has been edited for clarity and length)

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