Bangkok, Thailand, 18 August 2017 – Asian Transportation Research Society (ATRANS) organised the 10th ATRANS annual conference in Bangkok. The aim of the conference is to provide an opportunity for young researchers and graduate students from different areas of research fields to interact and exchange ideas and information. ATRANS invited the GIZ Transport and Climate Change project (TCC) and TRANSfer projects to give presentations on the ASEAN fuel economy platform and national urban mobility program, including financing, institutions, and rules for urban transport during the “Transportation-related, Energy and Environment” session.
The ASEAN fuel economy platform was presented by Tali Trigg, TCC project director. In terms of CO2 emission, Thailand’s transportation sector – as an example — accounted for about 30% to total energy related emissions with 98% of the emissions comes from the road transport sector. These two facts highlight the importance of the road transportation sector when it comes to climate change mitigation. As a result, fuel efficiency policy is considered as a promising candidate to effectively reduce energy consumption, as well as to reduce greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions. In light of this, the Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan (KLTSP) 2016-2025 — the strategic transport plan of ASEAN — has set a specific goal on the development and implementation of fuel economy policies and standards.
Thailand so far has already set policies and targets for energy efficiency and climate change mitigation. The implementation plan emphasizes increasing the efficiency in the use of fuel in vehicles. As part of these policies, the labelling scheme – the so-called ECO Sticker – was introduced in October 2015. Furthermore, the new CO2-based excise tax has been applied to new vehicle purchases since January 2016. According to a forthcoming study by GIZ (2017), between 2013 to 2015, sales-weighted average fuel consumption of new passenger light duty vehicles (PLDV) has worsened from approximately 6.98 to 7.08 Lge/100km (equivalent to about 171.70 to 174.19 gCO2/km). However, the study suggests possible paths toward FE improvement in Thailand, including a revision of the CO2-based excise tax and potential improvements of the ECO Sticker.
Next, Frederik Strompen, Advisor Transport and Climate Change GIZ, presented on National urban mobility program: financing, institutions and rules for urban transport. The TRANSfer project is implemented by GIZ on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. Its objective is to support developing and emerging countries to develop bankable and ready-to-implement mitigation measures in the transport sector.
TRANSfer supports countries in the development of ready-to-implement transport mitigation actions in order to unlock mitigation potentials and aims to motivate international donors to participate in the development of GHG mitigation measures in transport on a global scale. Specific mitigation action design is tailor-made to the country context. It is currently foreseen that in Thailand the cooperation with the Ministry of Transport will focus on the development of a National Urban Mobility Programme (NUMP) and support for pilot projects.
A NUMP is a strategic policy, programme or law, developed by national governments to enhance the capability of cities to plan, finance and implement projects to meet the mobility needs of people and businesses in cities and their surroundings in a sustainable manner. It builds on existing policies, institutions and regulations and aims at harmonizing relevant laws, norms, sector strategies, investment and support programs that help cities to have sustainable access to finance and planning instruments. A NUMP usually sets the legal framework for planning requirements, institutions and market access.
A key challenge is to shift the current pattern of investments towards more sustainable transport and move away from an ad-hoc financing of projects to a sustainable funding mechanism for investments and operations alike. The results of uncoordinated funding and planning mechanisms can be seen in many cities worlwide: An overemphasis on capital infrastructure, low-quality public transpot oerations, disintegrated modes and weak market regulations. Four main reasons were identified during the discussion:
– Planning framework (weak regulations for integrated urban mobility planning)
– Financial barriers (lack of dedicated and recurrent funding from national governments, lack of access to funding by municipalities)
– Institutional complexity
To overcome these barriers many countries have adopted NUMPs as a mixture of decentralized and centralized funding programmes. The presentation also shows example cases from countries such as India, Indonesia and Germany.
Finally, the participants are interested in the result of CO2-based excise tax policy impact on vehicle margins in the market and the TRANSfer project experience in Indonesia, Philippine and Thailand. This conference was a good opportunity for TCC and TRANSfer to disseminate the outputs of the projects and implementation more visible in the international research community.