Transport, sustainability, and climate change in the ASEAN region

A certain level of mobility creates benefits for economic and social development; however the current trends in the transport sector in Asia are unsustainable. With 310 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, transport in ASEAN is a significant contributor to global CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the transport sector has the second highest share of total final energy consumption in the ASEAN region. Congestion, road safety and air pollution – responsible for 7 million premature deaths globally – are among the key issues related to transport. Sustainable transport must not only focus on passenger cars, but also consider freight vehicles and motorcycles as well.

There are large synergies between local and global sustainability, particularly when local pollutants such as black carbon – the 2nd largest contributor to climate change after CO2 – are considered. However, the good news is that there are multiple options and a vast potential to increase energy efficiency and to reduce emissions in the land transport sector of ASEAN Member States (AMS). Nevertheless, more needs to be done to fully capture these opportunities. In light of this, ASEAN’s Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan (KLTSP) 2016-2025 includes sustainable transport actions in general, including the issues of green freight and energy efficiency in particular, which were designed to help reduce transport’s environmental footprint.


In order to mitigate the impacts of increasing mobility, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has commissioned the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to implement the project “Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Mitigation for the Land Transport Sector of the ASEAN Region” (in short: Transport and Climate Change (TCC)) in cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat since 2012. Phase 1 of the project concluded at the end of 2015, the second phase will run until the end of 2018.

Directly participating countries are Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Others benefit indirectly through regional products and events, supported and organized by the project.


To improve the conditions for the implementation of measures to increase energy efficiency and reduce climate relevant emissions from the land transport sector in the ASEAN region at the regional and national level.


The project follows a multi-level approach:

At the ASEAN level, TCC advises and supports the implementation of the KLTSP. Input and support for the development of this plan — which includes a specific chapter on sustainable transport for the first time — was given by TCC I. The project works closely with relevant ASEAN working groups such as the Land Transport Working Group (LTWG) and the Transport Facilitation Working Group (TFWG).

On a national level, TCC supports respective ministries of the participating countries to link their national strategies and action plans for energy efficiency and climate protection in transport to the KLTSP and support implementation measures thereof. To support the process and the implementation of the KLTSP on the regional and national level, expert working groups on fuel efficiency and sustainable transport indicators are established and meet regularly.

TCC II pursues an approach consisting of topical pillars on Fuel Efficiency Policies and Measures; a related pillar on Two- and Three-Wheelers including electrification; and a pillar on Green Freight & Logistics. Beyond these topical focuses, TCC’s work continues to include data collection, indicators development,  training and capacity building, and Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) in order improve and strengthen capacities and knowledge in the region, among other tools.

Data, Indicators, and MRV

Measuring and reporting based on sound indicators and data is a main challenge in the implementation of sustainable transportation in the ASEAN region and also key for the monitoring of transport sector performance. Against this background, the KLTSP has called for the development of the monitoring framework and harmonised approach for indicators on energy and GHG emissions in the transport sector.

TCC supports the development of regional sustainable transport indicators and guidelines to facilitate the compilation of transport data in order to assess the performance of transportation systems. Regional workshops are organised for knowledge exchange and learning.

Training and Capacity Building

Training to strengthen the capacities and knowledge in the region is a key for the successful implementation of the project. TCC conducts training across all its topics, with a focus on building a course in the field of data, indicators, and MRV. Further, trainings on Fuel efficiency and Green Freight & Logistics are regularly offered to our counterparts and will also be made available once the project has ended.

First Project Phase (2012-2015)

The objective of TCC phase I has been that strategies and action plans towards the improvement of energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for the land transport sectors are developed, implemented and monitored. The activities under TCC I phase were focused to support the development of national policies and action plans and to support relevant ASEAN bodies in improving relevant regional strategies.