GFEI report on energy progress launched at High Level Political Forum
The Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) launched a report on its contribution to help individual countries work towards Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) at the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF), in New York.
The 2018 HLPF has the theme of “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies” and explores how governments are progressing towards this objective, with a particular focus on SDG 7 on sustainable and accessible energy.
The report identifies the progress made to address SDG target 7.3, which was set in 2015 to double energy efficiency across all sectors by 2030. The GFEI has a similar objective for vehicle fuel efficiency. The SDGs are a unique set of targets agreed by governments from across the world. They combine economic, social and environmental dimensions – recognising the fact that different geographic locations and sectors are interlinked, and that change requires co-operation and co-ordination. The 7.3 target matches GFEI’s goal, set in 2009, to double average new passenger vehicle fuel economy globally by 2030, and in all vehicles by 2050 – ‘50by50’. Achieving the GFEI target would save over 1 Gt of CO2 a year by 2025 and over 2 Gt/year by 2050, and result in savings in annual oil import bills alone worth over $300 billion in 2025 and $600 billion in 2050.
The transport sector was responsible on average for 28% of total energy consumption annually between 2010 and 2015, and consumed around 60% of global oil products. In many developed countries, transport is the single largest energy user. Transport energy demand has risen faster than any other sector. Energy consumption from transport is set to continue to grow, predominantly in non-OECD countries, with the greatest growth in Asia.
Countries which have reported progress on fuel economy as part of their Voluntary National Reviews include Sri Lanka, which has updated its tax framework for clean and efficient vehicles, Singapore, which highlighted its vehicle labelling scheme, and Togo which highlighted how GFEI has helped the country to develop a fuel economy ‘baseline’ analysis of the average emissions of the vehicle fleet.
GFEI’s country-specific work now covers 70 countries, enabling them to analyse fuel economy trends to establish a baseline, and then establish a nation-wide response.
Erik Solheim, UN Environment Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General, said in the foreword of the report: “The environmental footprint of the current forms of transport of choice around the world is huge. Our addiction to fossil fuels not only spew out dangerous greenhouse gases and drive potentially catastrophic climate change, but the pollution also sends millions of people to an early grave every year.
“UN Environment is proud to be a partner in the Global Fuel Economy Initiative, which is making a vital contribution to improving energy efficiency of vehicles. The Global Fuel Economy Initiative is at the front and centre of meeting these challenges.”
Jamaica was identified by the report as a particularly successful example of how GFEI’s expertise,
combined with detailed policy analysis can drive forward energy efficiency and sustainable transport, to secure multiple environmental and economic benefits.
Jamaica has developed a number of policies, including revised Motor Vehicle Emissions Standards, which are to be promulgated under the Road Traffic Act; the Petroleum (Quality Control) Act (1990), which provides for fuel specification, including sulphur content of fuels; and the Air Quality regulations of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA). The government is also exploring how to develop policies around the links between fuel efficiency and electric mobility.
The Honourable Minister Daryl Vaz, MP, Minister without portfolio, Jamaican Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, said: “In Jamaica the GFEI has allowed us for the first time to develop a database of the light duty vehicle fleet. We are happy to be part of this global initiative and are proud to be the first in the Caribbean region to participate in this initiative.”
Sheila Watson, Deputy Director of the FIA Foundation, said ‘I am very proud of the work that GFEI does to support so many countries as they seek to address the challenges set by the SDGs. By offering this practical capacity building support based on global good practice and sound data analysis, GFEI is uniquely valuable initiative in which we are delighted to be a lead partner.’
Other countries who have reported progress on fuel economy as part of their Voluntary National Reviews include Sri Lanka, which has updated its tax framework for clean and efficient vehicles, Singapore, which highlighted its vehicle labelling scheme, and Togo which highlighted how GFEI has helped the country to develop a fuel economy ‘baseline’ analysis of the average emissions of the vehicle fleet.