Good news from the Rio+20 conference, going on now in Rio de Janeiro. The world’s eight largest development banks said today (June 21, 2012) they will invest $175 billion over 10 years to support clean transport in urban areas – funding, for example, car sharing or rapid bus systems – in Asia, Latin America and Africa, whose cities are expected to add 1 billion people over next 20 years.
Michael Replogle, founder of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, who was in Rio de Janeiro for the announcement, told Voice of America:
I think this is a real breakthrough for sustainable transport and sustainable development. It heralds a move away from massive road building, which we’ve seen in past decades from the development banks, and a move towards more investment in urban public transportation, safer roads for walking and bicycling and more efficient freight systems that can help build a green economy.
Transportation has relevance to two of seven critical issues facing Rio=20 outlined prior by conference officials prior to the conference’s kick off this week. That is, it relates both to sustainable cities and to sustainable energy.
Bottom line: The world’s eight largest development banks said on June 21, 2012 they will invest $175 billion over 10 years to support clean transport in urban areas in Asia, Latin America and Africa. The announcement came at the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.