Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Panel Discussion: Paving the Way for Sustainable Freight Transport
25 Apr 2012
15:00 - 18:00
Special Events

Key Issues

The strategic economic role of freight transport cannot be overemphasized. However, the strong nexus between freight transport activities, energy and environmental sustainability is yet to be adequately addressed.
Current freight transport systems are heavily reliant on oil for propulsion and are not yet in a position to effectively adopt cleaner energy alternatives and technologies.  In view of the projected growth in freight transport, this entails some serious implications not only for transport costs and trade but also for the environment. The high dependency on oil and related greenhouse gas emissions place freight transport at the centre of the climate change debate.  Unchecked, current unsustainable patterns of oil consumption and carbon emissions are likely to intensify and potentially result in global energy and environmental crises. 
Climate change mitigation alone is not sufficient to achieve sustainability in freight transport. Adaptation is equally important to help minimize the impacts of climatic changes such as sea level rise and extreme weather event. Building the resilience of freight transport infrastructure and services, in particular ports and freight terminals is crucial for a globalised trade. 
A transition to less oil-dependent and more energy-efficient and low carbon freight transport systems is, therefore, both an economic and environmental imperative and calls for active responses including mainstreaming the "sustainability" concept into freight transport planning and investment decisions. Mobilizing the requisite financial resources is equally important.
Purpose of the event
In view of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+ 20) and the designation of the year 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy, the event will provide an interactive platform for discussion and experience sharing on how best to enable a paradigm shift towards sustainable freight transport.
Bearing in mind the perspective of developing countries, the panel discussions will aim to, inter alia:
  • Explore the challenges and the opportunities associated with sustainable freight transport systems and identify related best practices.  
  • Discuss the associated financial implications and the respective roles of the public and private sectors, including in the form of PPPs as well as of multilateral development banks and climate-based finance options.  
  • Consider the potential role of international organizations, including UNCTAD in enabling the transition to sustainable freight transport.
Expected outcome / Deliverables
The event brings together government authorities, industry, financial institutions and academia with a view to:
  • Gain a better understanding of the meaning of sustainability" in freight transport and how to effectively mainstream the concept into transport planning and investment decisions.  
  • Promote cooperation, information sharing, including on best practices in the field of sustainable freight transport.  
  • Identify innovative financing mechanisms and the role of PPPs, climate finance and multilateral development banks in addressing the financial requirements.  
  • Foster a dialogue between the public and the private sectors. 
The event is jointly organized with the Asian Development Bank and will bring together governments, planning authorities, policy makers, the transport industry, financial institutions, academia and the civil society.
José María Rubiato
+41 22 917 44 31
+41 22 917 00 50



  • Concept Note
    Paving the Way for Sustainable Freight Transport
    English |

  • Programme Timetable
    English |


The Perspective of the New Port of Doha, Captain Ahmad Yousef ALMASS, Acting Chairman, Qatar Ports Management

Towards a Sustainable Transport Network: a Port Perspective, Mr. Ramon Gomez-Ferrer, General Director, Valencia Port Authority, Spain

Sustainable Freight Transport: Improving the environmental sustainability of transport and logistics, Professor Alan MCKINNON, Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg

Green Freight Developments in Asia , Mrs. Yan PENG, China Director, Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia)

The Use of Climate Financing Instruments for Sustainable Freight Transport, Mr. Ko SAKAMOTO, Transport Economist, Asian Development Bank

Sustainable Freight Transport Policy in Indonesia, H.E. Bambang SUSANTONO, Ph.D., Vice Minister for Transportation, Republic of Indonesia

The Sustainable Ports and Shipping Network

CEFIC Strategy for Sustainable Logistics for Chemicals, Mr. Jos VERLINDEN, Director Transport & Logistics, CEFIC



Welcome address: Mr. Petko Draganov, Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD
Policy perspective
Moderator:  Mrs. Anne Miroux, Director, Division on Technology and Logistics (DTL), UNCTAD
  • H.E. Dr. Bambang Susantono, Vice-Minister of Transport, Indonesia
  • H.E. Captain Latheef, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communication, Maldives
  • Mr. Rabah Touafek, Legal Counsel, Ministry of Transport, Algeria

Sustainable freight transport: An overview
Moderator:  Mrs. Sophie Punte, Executive Director, Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities
  • Professor Dr. Alan McKinnon, Head of Logistics and Dean of Programmes, Kühne Logistics University
  • Mrs. Yan Peng, CAI-Asia China Director, Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia)
  • Mr. Ko Sakamoto, Transport Economist, Asian Development Bank
Industry perspective
Moderator:  Mr. José María Rubiato, Acting Head, Trade Logistics Branch, DTL, UNCTAD
  • Captain Ahmad Yousef Almass, Acting Chair, Qatar Ports Management
  • Mr. Ramón Gómez Ferrer, Director, Valencia Port Authority
  • Mr. Dirk van de Velde, President, Cargo Incident Notification Organization - CINS Network
  • Mr. Jos Verlinden, Head, Transport and Logistics, European Chemical Industry Council