Monograph Series on Transitioning to Electric Mobility in the Asia-Pacific Region

Monograph Series on Transitioning to Electric Mobility in the Asia-Pacific Region

Accelerating the Transition of Public Transport Fleets

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Although a well-functioning transport sector is vital for economic and social development, its emissions have negative impacts on, among others, air quality, human health, and climate change. The Asia-Pacific region contributes 27 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport, representing a 243 per cent rise since 1990, which is faster than any other end-use sector. Transport impacts 11 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 3.9, to reduce illnesses and deaths from air pollution. SDG 13, target 13.2.1 on climate action, in particular, encourages countries to submit Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change towards limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Currently, 98 per cent of countries mention transport in their NDCs, while 83 per cent include transport measures, focusing primarily on public buses, clean energy sources, and electric mobility. Public transport is considered “low-hanging fruit” for electric vehicle (EV) adoption because it offers the most significant emission reduction potential, especially on a per-passenger basis, as public transport accounts for 70 per cent of urban passenger journeys in Asia. While strong international consensus has emerged on the importance of prioritizing low carbon transport, actionable policy measures are still evolving in many Asia-Pacific countries. Even where policies are identified, implementation is challenging for some countries, particularly those without the necessary expertise, technological know-how, or financial capabilities. This Monograph breaks down the components for pursuing accelerated EV adoption in public transport through frameworks, policy goals, strategies, and instruments. It draws substantial input from ESCAP’s Series on E-Mobility in Asia and the Pacific, notably Electric Mobility in Public Transport: A Guidebook for Asia-Pacific Countries and three case studies commissioned by ESCAP on China and Thailand.


UN/Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
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