Nordic and Baltic Ministers of Transport discussed climate change
Nordic and Baltic Ministers of Transport met in Joensuu, Finland, on 4-5 September. The main theme of the meeting was the role of transport policy in controlling climate change.
Necessary tools to be used in fighting climate change are promotion of sustainable mobility, enhanced use of traffic management systems and eco-driving. The Ministers said that also economic instruments, such as taxation and fees, could be used more widely.
Mr Jack Short, Secretary General of the International Transport Forum, pointed out that developing technology and changes in consumer behaviour are both essential tools in tackling climate change. He encouraged the Ministers to consider ways of motivating people to drive more fuel efficient cars, for example. Close co-operation between governments and car industry is necessary.
The development of alternative energy sources were seen as a long-term means to significantly decrease carbon dioxide emissions from transport. However, they should be more cost-efficient and sustainable during their whole life span.
The Ministers also discussed promotion of accessible transport. An introduction to the subject was given by Mr Inge Ovesen, Director for Secretariat for the Nordic Council on Disability Policy.
The meeting was presided over by Ms Anu Vehviläinen, Minister of Transport of Finland. Ministers from four Nordic countries, three Baltic states and Åland were present at the meeting; Norway was represented by State Secretary.
Finland hosted the meeting as part of its chairmanship of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2007. Since May, Finland also holds the presidency of the International Transport Forum for a one-year-period.
Mr Juhani Tervala, Director General, tel. +358 50 552 7260
Mr Kaj-Peter Mattsson, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 40 548 3447