Strenghtening the Role of Transport in new Nationally Determined Contributions
Developing policies and strategies that contribute to the decarbonisation of the transport sector is essential for the fulfilment of the objectives of the Paris Agreement. By 2020, countries submit new or updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that should be more ambitious than the NDCs submitted so far. In the context of raising ambition in the NDCs and enhancing the contribution of the transport sector, a regional dialogue was organised that brought together experts and officials at the national and local level from 13 Latin American countries.
The participants that came together in Bogotá, Colombia from February 19 to 21, 2020 represented ministries of transport and environment from all across Latin America. In various sessions over the course of three days, participants discussed strategies, policies and projections that aimed to incorporate ambitious transport measures into strengthened NDCs.
Among the key messages that resulted from this workshop were:
All countries identified the need to deepen horizontal and transversal participation in multisectoral coordination processes in order to successfully bring together the various relevant actors in the transport sector at the local to national level.
In addition, it is necessary to establish coordination between the different levels of government and also between different sectors. Thereby, synergies can be identified and integrated, and resources for spatial planning and policy management in the field of mobility and decarbonisation of transport can be used most effectively.
The need to develop regulatory policy frameworks for sustainable mobility was identified. These will make it possible to overcome uncertainties that so far hinder the involvement of the private sector in the transition to new carbon-neutral mobility and instead allow businesses to actively participate. Chile, for example, developed a national electric mobility strategy that incorporates and unites the objectives of the Ministries of Transport, Energy and Environment, and allows for the alignment of actions for the promotion and implementation of electric mobility in the country. Additionally, the strategy provides orientation to the different sectors regarding the longer-term implementation of the technology in the country. These policies can also contribute to reducing informality in transport at various levels.
In order to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the transport sector successfully, a comprehensive approach to the transport sector is required that takes into account all different transport sub-sectors including aviation and freight.
It is necessary to set ambitious targets for the uptake of renewable energy in a country’s energy mix to ensure that the adoption of electric mobility is truly sustainable and leads to decreasing GHG emissions. To this end, there is also a need to gradually reduce fuel subsidies.
It was also pointed out that there is a need to regulate the import of used vehicles and to improve access to new transport technologies in order to foster the renewal of fleets in different countries.
In addition, different countries highlighted the need for a consolidated policy on sustainable mobility for Latin America, which promotes transnational connectivity. In conjunction with that, a multinational framework for interoperability should be developed.
Due to the lack of methodological frameworks for developing NDCs, some countries asked for a standardised mechanism to monitor the quality of their NDCs, to help them be more ambitious and facilitate the process of moving to action.
A region committed to adaptation and mitigation in the transport sector
Since many countries in Latin America are highly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change, many regional NDCs have a strong focus on adaptation, sometimes also in relation to the transport sector.
The timeframes set for the submission of NDCs in Latin America vary between 2020 and 2024. However, all countries are already making efforts to identify concrete actions and enhance the overall ambition of their NDCs regarding the mitigation of climate change. Peer exchanges like the one facilitated by the workshop help them to learn from each other and deepen commitments already made. All Latin American countries have incorporated transport into their first NDCs as a relevant sector. The next years offer considerable prospect for the sector to make an increasing contribution to enhanced ambitions in the second round NDCs of Latin America.
Along with the workshop, a series of exchanges of experiences and initiatives were carried out, which also allowed for conversation on what is being done in the field of sustainable mobility in the region, enabling the establishment of deepened cooperation between countries and ministries.