Public Transport Can Compensate Job Losses in the Car Industry

© Andy Singer

© Andy Singer

Public transport is a significant provider of jobs. For instance, in Europe, public transport operators alone create one million direct jobs.  Every direct job in public transport is linked to four jobs in other sectors of the economy. Public transport creates 25% more jobs than the same investment in building roads or highways. At a meeting of the Policy Board of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) hosted by De Lijn from 13 to 16 October 2009 in Ghent, Belgium, worldwide leaders of the public transport sector called on governments to invest in the public transport sector.

“Public transport provides green local jobs. In many cities, the public transport network is one of the major employers, and such jobs cannot be delocalised,” said Alain Flausch, President of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP).

Public transport empowers the economy in general. In addition to the creation of sustainable, green and local jobs, public transport strongly supports the local economy by, among other things:

– Reducing congestion: congestion costs a minimum of 2% of the national GDP and between 2 and 8% in the European Union, which represents EUR 200bn.

– Alleviating the burden of energy costs: energy consumption for transport per inhabitant is four times lower in cities where the majority of trips are made by public transport and sustainable mobility. It helps economies to reduce their dependency on fossil fuel and improves their balance of payments.

– Reducing the cost of transport for the community: 50% less in terms of proportion of the urban GDP, in cities with a high share of public transport, walking and cycling; and

– Creating added value: every euro of value created from public transport is linked to a further value creation of EUR 4 in the total economy.

The magnitude of the current financial and economic turmoil shows that it is a systemic crisis calling for an in-depth change. This is the right moment to trigger a societal change and abandon the car-dependent lifestyle.

“It is time for a new mindset in the transport approach. A car-based economy is simply not sustainable. We call on governments to invest in the public transport sector as a sustainable lever of the economy,” said Hans Rat, Secretary General of UITP.

Brussels – October 20, 2009

www.uitp.org

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Car-Free Day Contest: Win FREE GAS!!!!

“Washington, D.C., September 21, 2009—As organizers prepare to observe “World Car-Free Day” tomorrow, the Competitive Enterprise Institute would like to remind observers and participants of the value of personal mobility and the advantages of car ownership.”

Here is a very surprising call to fight against World Carfree Day. It is of course the work of free minds who are fighting against the corporate idea of Carfree Cities (supported by powerful corporations).

Enjoy it, I guess it is a kind of joke…

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Total and Chevron Fuel Human Rights Abuse in Burma

“We can no longer do farming around our village because we don’t have existing land [anymore],” said one villager whose land was confiscated by Total and Chevron’s security forces. - ©  ERI© ERI

EarthRights International (ERI) released two reports today linking oil giants Total and Chevron to forced labor, killings, high-level corruption and authoritarianism in military-ruled Burma (Myanmar). For the first time, ERI reveals that the military regime is hiding multi-billion dollar revenues from natural gas sales in two offshore banks in Singapore.

Based primarily on over two years of research, the first report, entitled Total Impact: The Human Rights, Environmental, and Financial Impacts of Total and Chevron’s Yadana Gas Project in Military-Ruled Burma (Myanmar) explains that Total and Chevron’s Yadana gas project has generated US$4.83 billion dollars for the Burmese regime. The 110-page report explains how the regime would have excluded at least US$4.80 billion dollars of that revenue from the country’s national budget.

As a result of this revenue, Total and Chevron are a “leading external factor contributing to the regime’s intransigence” and a primary reason why international and domestic pressure on the SPDC has to date been ineffective, according to ERI.

“Total and Chevron claim abuses have stopped in connection to their project but it’s simply untrue,” said ERI Program Coordinator Naing Htoo, another principal author of the reports and coordinator of ERI’s investigations in Burma. “Forced labor, killings and other abuses are being committed by Total and Chevron’s security forces while the companies mislead and lie to the international community about their impacts.”

Focusing on the many misrepresentations of the Yadana Project is another new report from ERI, entitled Getting it Wrong: Flawed “Corporate Social Responsibility” and Misrepresentations Surrounding Total and Chevron’s Yadana Gas Pipeline in Military-Ruled Burma (Myanmar). Based on seven years of research, this 84-page report describes Total and Chevron’s public relations endeavors, including impact assessments commissioned by the companies since 2002. ERI presents evidence proving that Total lied to the public when it claimed that the International Labour Organization (ILO) certified that the company eradicated forced labor in its project area. The ILO made no such statements and has publicly disavowed the claim as untrue and inaccurate.

You can read more and find the two reports at: http://www.earthrights.org/content/view/693/114/

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Victims of the Downturn?

The American magazine “Fortune” has just published its online ranking of the world’s largest corporations according to their annual revenue. Shell took first place over last years leader Wal-Mart, and there is no surprise to see that once again petroleum companies dominate – occupying 6 of the 10 first ranks. And if General Motors “disappeared”, Toyota Motor took 10th position. Do you think their fortune will create employment; be invested in developing sustainable energies and reducing CO2 emissions; or simply help them make more money? We’ll let you draw your own conclusions…

Rank

Company Revenues ($ millions) Profits ($ millions)

1

Royal Dutch Shell

458,361

26,277

2

Exxon Mobil

442,851

45,220

3

Wal-Mart Stores

405,607

13,400

4

BP

367,053

21,157

5

Chevron

263,159

23,931

6

Total

234,674

15,500

7

ConocoPhillips

230,764

-16,998

8

ING Group

226,577

– 1,067

9

Sinopec

207,814

– 1,961

10

Toyota Motor

204,352

– 4,349

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2009/full_list/

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