OECD/ITF Global Forum on Sustainable Development: Transport and Environment in a Globalising World


 Background papers | Related links

This Forum jointly organised by the OECD/ITF (International Transport Forum) and the Mexican Ministry for Environment took place on 10-12 November 2008 in Guadalajara, Mexico.





  • To consider major transport trends – both in large urban areas and those raised by a globalising economy – with a special focus on developments in Latin America;
  • To address challenges caused by these trends – for the environment at large and for human health in particular; and
  • To share information about effective and efficient policies that can reduce these negative impacts.


  • Transport activity underpins economic and social development, allowing efficient allocation of resources and mobility for people. In many countries, economic development and peoples' mobility are hampered by insufficient transport infrastructure, lacking public transport services, inefficient transport demand management, etc.
  • However, there are major challenges related to the environmental impacts of transport activities, and broad economic trends – like increasing urbanisation and further globalisation – can aggravate these challenges.
  • It is necessary to address these environmental challenges, while at the same time allowing further transport development to improve peoples' welfare.
  • Hence, environmentally effective and economically efficient policies addressing the transport sector are needed. This Global Forum can synthesise current knowledge about the challenges countries face in this area and suggest environmentally effective and economically efficient policies to address these challenges.

Target audience

  • The intention is to bring together politicians and experts working on transport and environment issues in public authorities and academia, representatives of the transport industry and of environmental NGOs. Special efforts will be made to attract participants from Latin-American countries.

Background papers               

  • Mind-forg’d Manacles -- The Constraints to Optimising Urban Transport Policy (Rana Roy, Maunsell/AECOM, Sydney, Australia)
  • The UNCRD Asian EST Initiative (Kazunobu Onogawa, United Nations Centre for Regional Development, UNCRD)
  • Mitigating the Risk of Climate Change by Reducing Travel by Light Duty Vehicles (Walter Hook, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy) 
  • Globalisation’s Direct and Indirect Effects on the Environment (Carol McAusland, University of Maryland)
  • The Impacts of Globalisation on International Maritime Transport Activity Past trends and future perspectives (James J. Corbett & James Winebrake, Energy and Environmental Research Associates, the United States)
  • The impact of globalisation on international air transport activity - Past trends and future perspectives (Ken Button, George Mason School of Public Policy)
  • The impact of globalisation on international road and rail freight transport activity - Past trends and future perspectives (Allan Woodburn, Julian Allen, Michael Browne & Jacques Leonardi, Transport Studies Department, University of Westminster)
  • The environmental impacts of increased international maritime shipping - Past trends and future perspectives (Øyvind Endresen & Magnus Eide, Det Norske Veritas, Høvik, Stig Dalsøren & Ivar S. Isaksen, University of Oslo and Eirik Sørgård, Pronord AS, Bodø, Norway)
  • The Environmental Impacts of Increased International Air Transport - Past trends and future perspectives (Eric Pels of VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
  • The Environmental Impacts of Increased International Road and Rail Freight Transport - Past trends and future perspectives (Huib van Essen, CE Delft, Delft, the Netherlands)
  • Policy instruments to limit negative environmental impacts from increased international transport- An Economic Perspective (Kurt Van Dender and Philippe Crist, Joint Transport Research Centre of the OECD and the International Transport Forum)
  • Policy Instruments to Limit Negative Environmental Impacts from Increased International Transport - Constraints and Opportunities in International Law (Markus W. Gehring, Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, Montreal, Canada)

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