Caucasus Fuel Economy Initiative Publishes White Paper on Options for Improving Auto Fuel Economy in Georgia
Initiated in 2010 with support from the European Commission and the Global Environment Facility, the Caucasus Fuel Economy Initiative has spearheaded the development of automotive fuel economy policies in the region, starting with Georgia.
Led by the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN) with the assistance of the GFEI and its partner organizations, the years of discussions, a communications campaign, and specialized training at the regional and national levels have resulted in the publication of the first policy document on how to improve the energy efficiency of the car fleet in Georgia (see below for document). The goal of the Caucasus initiative is to catalyze the development of national fuel economy plans, targets and policies in the three countries in the region for increased auto fuel economy at the national level and lower CO2 and pollutant emissions from the auto sector.
By gathering and analyzing data from the Georgian car fleet (both imported new and used vehicles) from 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 using the GFEI Fuel Economy Policies Impact Tool (FEPIt) and the (upcoming) GFEI Feebate Simulation tool, a list of actions was produced that, will inform the development of a national auto fuel economy improvement plan in Georgia.
The White Paper outlines five specific supportive strategies to create or improve existing systems to increase Georgia’s auto fuel economy and reach a national average of 140g CO2/km by 2020 (as projected by FEPIt), including:
- Vehicle fuel economy labeling
- Used import restriction (in terms of vehicle age)
- CO2-based light duty vehicle acquisition and/or registration tax
- CO2-based light duty vehicle ownership tax
- Fuel quality standards (as a supportive measure for cleaner, more efficient technology)
Georgia’s LDV fleet is characterized by an ageing fleet, primarily imported from Western Europe, Japan, and the USA, with an average fuel economy of 189 grams of CO2/km in 2012. This is one of the worst fuel economies of a fleet in Europe and well above the global average (as of 2011 the global fuel economy average for LDV’s is 167g CO2/km (7.2 Lge/100km) according to the latest GFEI global analysis). This situation has developed due to Georgia’s inefficient LDV legislation system, in particular its taxation regime for vehicle imports that does not incentivize cleaner, more efficient vehicles but rather encourages the purchase of older vehicles.
The initiative’s steering committee in Georgia has already approved the white paper and includes the European Union Delegation to Georgia, the United States Agency for International Development, the national Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, among others.
Fuel economy by country, including Georgia, 2005 – 2011
Source: GFEI and IEA, 2012