Transport is considered in Agenda 21 in the context of several chapters, including, among others, Chapter 9 on Atmosphere and Chapter 7 on Human Settlements. In undertaking the five-year review of the implementation of Agenda 21 during its nineteenth Special Session in 1997, the General Assembly noted that, over the next twenty years, transportation is expected to be the major driving force behind a growing world demand for energy. It is the largest end-use of energy in developed countries and the fastest growing one in most developing countries. Furthermore, adequate, efficient, and effective transport systems are important for access to markets, employment, education and basic services critical to poverty alleviation. Current patterns of transportation development are not sustainable and may compound both environmental and health problems.
There is, therefore, a need for urgent action, ranging, inter alia, from the promotion of integrated transport policies and plans, the accelerated phase-out of leaded gasoline, the promotion of voluntary guidelines and the development of partnerships at the national level for strengthening transport infrastructure, promoting and supporting the use of non-motorised transport and developing innovative mass transit schemes.
Within the framework of the Commission's multi-year programme of work, transport was discussed by the Commission at its ninth session in 2001. Countries agreed that international co-operation is required in order to ensure transport systems support sustainable development. Countries stressed the importance of efficient and affordable transport systems for poverty alleviation and the need to mitigate adverse externalities to health and the environment. Support for greater use of public and non-motorized transport was expressed.
Transport was further discussed as part of the Plan of Implementation at the World Summit on Sustainable Development where countries agreed to promote an integrated approach to policy making including policies and planning for land use, infrastructure, public transport systems and goods delivery networks, with a view to providing safe, affordable and efficient transportation, increasing energy efficiency, reducing pollution, reducing congestion, reducing adverse health effects and limiting urban sprawl. In addition, a wide array of partnerships related to the transport sector were launched during the Summit.