Workshop Enables Leaders to Implement Vehicle Emission Policies in Southeast Asia
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 3.7 million premature deaths resulted from outdoor air pollution in 2012. A major share of this air pollution comes from vehicle emissions in cities. In the Southeast Asia region, for example, traffic produces 36 percent of the city’s local air pollution. Under a business as usual scenario, this number is be projected to rise, as the number of vehicles is expected to significantly increase. Furthermore, transport sector emissions are growing faster than any other sector. In Asia, the challenge is particularly urgent, as it is projected that Asia’s share of global transport emissions will increase to 31 percent by 2030. Recognizing the pressing need for action, many countries have realized that fuel quality and emission standards are key for improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
To identify and opportunities and strategies for overcoming the barriers to vehicle emissions standards, the Low Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS) Transport Working Group, the United National Environmental Programme (UNEP) and Clean Air Asia, in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines (DENR), conducted a regional workshop on February 23-24, 2016 in Manila, Philippines. The workshop brought together more than 55 participants from cities around the world to support the implementation and advancement of vehicle emission policies in Southeast Asia. The workshop helped facilitate cooperation between Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries as they seek to align their standards across the region. The Philippines was the ideal location to host the workshop as the country recently made progress by implementing a Euro 4/IV vehicle emission standard in January 2016.
Learning from Regional and Global Experiences
The workshop consisted of a global and regional overview of vehicle emission standards, and country representatives from the ASEAN region briefly shared the status of vehicle emissions standards in their respective countries. Country representatives outside the ASEAN region presented case studies of their experiences advancing vehicle emission standards and the lessons they learned from implementation challenges. Participants from government agencies, technical institutions, academia, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector also contributed to the discussions.
The majority of the discussions and presentations were centered on why improving fuel quality and vehicle emissions standards is important to improving air quality and mitigating the impacts of climate change. Participants discussed why these policies need to be embedded in a broader Avoid-Shift-Improve (A-S-I) framework, avoiding the need for motorized travel, shifting trips to the most sustainable mode and improving existing technologies and systems. Doing so is critical to expanding mobility for all and shifting toward low-carbon, efficient public transport and non-motorized transport.
Enabling Leaders for Local Action
The workshop laid a foundation for participants to make the case in their countries about why there is an urgent need to advance vehicle emission policies and how these policies can be implemented in Southeast Asia. The attendees left with a better understanding of how air quality, public health and greenhouse gas emissions can be addressed through policies and technologies related to emissions standards. The workshop also served to equip participants with a network of peers in the region who can support and share experiences and knowledge.
About the LEDS Transport Working Group
The LEDS Transport Working Group is led by team of international transport experts from the World Resources Institute, the United States Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), who are leading the activities in collaboration with the LEDS GP regional platforms. Activities include building a transport community, supporting champions and innovators, creating networks of experts on low-emission transport and exploring opportunities for collaboration at local and regional levels.
About EMBARQ at WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
EMBARQ, Sustainable Urban Mobility by WRI, catalyzes and helps implement environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable urban mobility solutions to improve quality of life in cities.