The Asian Development Bank on Wednesday said that together with seven other multilateral development banks, it will commit more than $175 billion in loans and grants for transportation in developing countries over the next decade.
“Rapid motorization is creating more congestion, air pollution, traffic accidents and greenhouse gas emissions — especially in developing countries,” said ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda at a news conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
He said developing countries had the opportunity to achieve a greener future of less motorization, shorter commutes and more energy efficient transport systems. The joint investment is intended to help develop and implement more environmentally-friendly, accessible, affordable and safe transportation systems.
Global CO2 emissions from the transport sector are projected to increase nearly 50 percent by 2030 unless dramatic changes are adopted.
In many Asian nations, economic losses from traffic-related congestion already amount to 5 percent of GDP. Many large Asian cities also suffer from the highest air pollution levels in the world, contributing to the premature death of half a million people each year.
Inadequate transport continues to exacerbate poverty and inequality in many regions of the world, inhibiting access to schools, health care, markets and job opportunities.
Yet despite the importance of the transport sector, it has been largely neglected in the global sustainable development agenda.