Global Green Freight Action Plan Highlighted at UN Climate Summit

One of the highlights of last month’s Climate Summit in New York City was the announcement of the “Global Green Freight Action Plan” to decrease the climate impacts of global freight movement by harmonizing green freight programs internationally. The Action Plan will define specific actions toward the goal of globally harmonized green freight for a range of stakeholders, from shippers to carriers, NGOs to development banks, and subnational to national to regional government entities. (For some background on why this Action Plan is so necessary, see here.)

A key to the success of the Action Plan will be broad participation by the different parts of the global system of goods movement. And so it was a huge achievement that right at the very outset 50 nation states, private companies, NGOs, IGOs, CSOs endorsed the Global Green Freight Action Plan at the Summit. All told 31 countries are already involved in some fashion. The full list of endorsers is shown in the interactive map below.

The majority of the Action Plan endorsers are already actively engaged in “greening” freight in some fashion. The benefit of the Action Plan will be to give them a global platform on which to share local or national-level work. Some examples: The ICCT is currently working on methodologies for verification of green freight technologies and strategies. The Action Plan and resulting international exposure will allow many more users to make use of the verification methodologies and information. The United States and Canada run the largest harmonized Green Freight program (US/Canada Smartway has over 3,000 partners). Smartway will be able to utilize the Action Plan to share knowledge and best practices about developing and growing a green freight program with countries whose programs are in earlier stages of development. The Smart Freight Centre in the Netherlands is the secretariat for the Global Logistics Emissions Council and is developing uniform reporting methodologies for green freight programs. The global scope of the Action Plan will help the uptake of these harmonized methodologies by newly developing programs. Clean Air Asia is very focused on supporting the development of green freight programs in Asian countries. The Action Plan will leverage this work by giving the programs access to knowledge and tools from other programs around the world.

The Action Plan will be released this winter, with implementation continuing on through 2015 and beyond. Want to get your organization involved? E-mail me at