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Transport in NDCs: Lessons learnt from rapidly-motorizing countries

A new paper from GIZ and Ricardo Energy & Environment reviews how seven rapidly-motorizing countries are addressing transport in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

In preparation for the Paris climate summit in December 2015, almost all countries submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase resilience. By September 2017, 171 out of 197 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change had ratified the Paris Agreement. As each country did so, the ‘Intended’ was dropped and its commitment became its ‘Nationally Determined Contribution’. Countries are required to submit updated and increasingly ambitious NDCs every five years.

NDCs are particularly relevant for the transport sector, a sector that contributes 23% of global direct energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Many countries seek to cap or reduce emissions in their transport sectors in order to meet national emission reduction targets under their NDCs. Between 2010 and 2015 global transport emissions increased by 2.5% annually. Most of the future growth is forecast in non-OECD countries. This paper assesses the relevance of transport in developing countries’ NDCs by reviewing seven case studies in the following rapidly-motorizing countries: Bangladesh, Colombia, Georgia, Kenya, Nigeria, Peru and Vietnam.

The authors identify four key factors limiting the ambition of transport in the first round of NDCs:

  • Lack of transport data limits the sectoral ambition.
  • Buy-in from key transport actors is essential for ambitious sector targets.
  • NDCs should be more closely linked with transport sector strategies.
  • Transport authorities need more climate change expertise.

In order to raise the ambition of transport-related commitments in NDCs, the paper suggests that governments should:

  • Align NDCs with long-term decarbonization pathways through improved modelling and mitigation forecasting scenarios.
  • Introduce more renewable energy into the transport sector.
  • Channel increased flows of climate finance to provide domestic support for decarbonizing the transport sector and incentivize low carbon investment in transport.
  • Promote the sustainable development benefits of transport-related climate mitigation actions, as a way of helping ministries to prioritize climate action.

Read the full report: Transport in NDCs: Lessons learnt from case studies of rapidly motorising countries

Photo: Dominic Chavez/World Bank