The UN Agenda 21 Plan that Called for De Facto Global Travel Restrictions in 1992
The UN Agenda 21 Plan that Called for De Facto Global Travel Restrictions in 1992 - In a 1992 global declaration, the United Nations (UN) called for de facto global travel restrictions, all in the name of saving the planet. At the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), that took place in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, 178 governments from around the world signed a comprehensive global action plan called Agenda 21. In essence, Agenda 21 is a global agenda drafted by the UN that serves as a blueprint for the entire 21st century.
Today, I will concentrate on one aspect of the plan: the UN agenda to restrict motorized travel. The UN has been consistent on this message over the years. A 2016 report from the UN Environment Programme advises governments to promote and invest in forms of non-motorized transport, particularly promoting walking and cycling as sustainable alternatives to private cars. The slogan that was often used by UN officials in this campaign was “put people, not cars, first,” with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) advising all countries to invest around 20 percent of their transport budgets in cycling and walking infrastructure.
At a national level, various countries around the world have passed legislation that restricts, or will restrict, the private car sector. In line with UN wishes, both Britain and France have passed laws that will ban the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2040, with Britain planning on bringing the ban forward to 2035. Environmental groups have also called on London to have no private cars on the road by 2030, with Transport for London announcing that they are investing £2.3 billion in an attempt to make walking, cycling or trips on public transport account for 80% of journeys by 2041. In view of Agenda 21, does any of these steps sound familiar? Obviously, the promotion of walking and cycling over using private cars is one way to severely restrict the ability of a person to travel.
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Agence France-Presse, The Guardian (24 Oct. 2017) Singapore: no more cars allowed on the road, government says - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/24/singapore-no-more-cars-allowed-on-the-road-government-says
BBC News (1 August, 2019) Call for London to be car-free by 2030 - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-49192315
BBC News (4 February, 2020) Petrol and diesel car sales ban brought forward to 2035 - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51366123
Carrington, D. (3 April, 2020) UK road travel falls to 1955 levels as Covid-19 lockdown takes hold, The Guardian - https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/apr/03/uk-road-travel-falls-to-1955-levels-as-covid-19-lockdown-takes-hold-coronavirus-traffic
Chrisafis, A. and Vaughan, A. (6 July, 2017) France to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 - https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/06/france-ban-petrol-diesel-cars-2040-emmanuel-macron-volvo
Ekblom, J. (4 Oct. 2019) Denmark calls for EU ban on sale of all diesel and petrol cars by 2040, Reuters - https://www.reuters.com/article/eu-autos-denmark/corrected-denmark-calls-for-eu-ban-on-sale-of-all-diesel-and-petrol-cars-by-2040-idUSL2N26P09C
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), (June 1992) Agenda 21 Full PDF - https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Agenda21.pdf
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), (June 1992) Agenda 21, United Nations Sustainable Development - https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/outcomedocuments/agenda21
United Nations Environment (2016) Global Outlook on Walking and Cycling (Policies and Realities from Around the World) - https://europa.eu/capacity4dev/unep/documents/global-outlook-walking-and-cycling-policies-realities-around-world
United Nations Environment Report: Put people, not cars first in transport systems - https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2016/10/un-environment-report-put-people-not-cars-first-in-transport-systems/
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