Paris Delivers! COP 21 Strikes Deal - Private Sector's Role in Implementation


It took an extra day but on Saturday November 12th, negotiators finalized what is dubbed “The Paris Agreement”; the first formal multilateral climate pact struck in 18 years aimed at holding global average temperatures below a two degree Celsius rise from pre-industrial levels, with best efforts to limit these to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The almost two decades of talks have finally come to an ambitious agreement to hold some 200 countries and territories accountable to emission targets.

Government and business leaders will not doubt agree that the conclusion of this landmark agreement, which sets a new goal to reach net zero emissions in the second half of the century, sends a powerful signal to global markets, hastening the transition away from fossil fuels and to a clean energy economy.

“This universal and ambitious agreement sends a clear signal to governments, businesses, and investors everywhere: the transformation of our global economy from one fuelled by dirty energy to one fuelled by sustainable economic growth is now firmly and inevitably underway,” Al Gore, the former US vice-president who helped draft the 1997 Kyoto climate treaty said in a statement.

FIATA and the industry welcome the agreement and are happy that it recognizes the role of the private sector in contributing to holding global warming to safe levels. The logistics industry, in particular, understands the impact they can have as it is no secret that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector, particularly from road vehicles, has risen at a faster rate than any other energy end-use sector.

The global transport industry has however not waited until Paris. They have been continuously engaging in research and development (R&D) activities to become more carbon and energy efficient and are pleased that Paris will provide additional support through the availability of enhanced new technologies, governmental aid and behavioural changes.

Now as the coin has turned to implementation, FIATA asks policy makers to not only focus on enacting legislation that will set GHG target emissions for which the industry must remain compliant. But to look at the glass half full and enact policy that would enable infrastructure development, technological research, and tracking procedures leading to enhanced connectivity and efficient transport operations that would in turn stimulate economic growth.

FIATA has recently published a position paper which highlights some best practice examples which are already being taken on by industry and government that would ultimately realize a reduction in carbon emissions and achieve sustainably developing economies for long-term growth.

Recognizing the importance of climate change and sustainability, FIATA has created a high powered working group on Sustainable Logistics which are ready to contribute to this process and provide their support to ensure Paris is a pivotal moment throughout our history.

Chairperson of FIATA’s newly established Working Group Sustainable Logistics, Mr Heiner Rogge added, “We are delighted that an agreement was reached in Paris and it is clear that FIATA’s Working Group Sustainable Logistics now has its work cut out for it. Let us not forget the importance of vocational training in our endeavours to reach the agreement’s goals. We can do a lot very quickly to reduce emissions by ensuring that our human resources are well-trained to achieve to this end.”

“Vocational training is an area where FIATA can be of crucial significance to help the freight forwarding industry do its bit in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions. And this is where we will be turning our heads towards in the future as we develop our vocational training material,” Rogge concluded.


Media Contact:

Hans Günther Kersten, Director General

Email: kersten(at)



FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, was founded in Vienna, Austria on May 31st 1926.  It is a non-governmental organisation that today represents an industry covering approximately 40,000 forwarding and logistics firms, employing around 10 million people in some 160 countries. FIATA has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (inter alia ECE, ESCAP, ESCWA, etc.), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) as well as many other UN related bodies, e.g. the World Bank. It is recognised as representing the freight forwarding industry by many other governmental organisations, governmental authorities, private international organisations in the field of transport and logistics, such as the European Commission (through CLECAT), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Union of Railways (UIC), the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), etc.

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Glattbrugg, 16 December 2015

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