Environment - Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST)

People on bicycles and taking part in races.

Accompanying the rapid urbanization and economic development of Asia, urban transportation and waste management have emerged as important environmental issues that need to be addressed and prioritaized in order to realize environmental sustainability. The transport sector is responsible for approximately 23 per cent of fossil fuel-based Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions that causes global warming, and road transport alone is responsible for around 76 per cent of total transport CO2 emissions. However, the poorer countries suffer most due to climate change, with estimated losses of 5 per cent to 9 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) for some poorer countries. Without major efforts to address air pollution and GHGs emission reduction from the transportation sector, growing vehicle ownership and usage in the developing countries, the trend of urbanization, and increasing accidents, will undermine human health, the urban environment, economic productivity, and social equity. Road safety is a critical issue region wide and economic losses in most developing countries range from 2 per cent to 3 per cent of the total GDP.

Therefore, transport policy decisions made today or in immediate future will have a profound impact on human and environmental security in the coming decades. Social equity and gender priorities are often neglected in overall transport policy, planning, and development. UNCRD is addressing the need for an integrated approach to deal with the range of social, economic, and environmental issues associated with the transport sector.

Since 2004, UNCRD has been promoting environmentally sustainable transport (EST) in close collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan through Asian EST Initiative.

Definition of the environmentally sustainable transport (EST)

While transportation is essential to Asia's socio-economic needs, balancing these needs with the need to protect the environment should be at the heart of the concept of EST. Generally, EST is considered as transport that meets the needs of the present without preventing future generations from meeting their needs. Although there is no single, commonly held definition of EST, the concept of EST is centered on the transportation system and transportation activity that meets social, economic and environmental objectives.


Pre-Feasibility Study to Investigate Potential Mass Transit Options for Bhutan (Final Report)

To see other publications on EST, here.