The future of mobility is undergoing a transformative revolution, driven by the need to reduce carbon emissions, and to provide people sustainable, clean, safe and inclusive mobility options. These issues were at the centre of discussions at a side event organised on November 16, 2023, by the Asia LEDS Partnership (ALP) at the Asia Pacific Climate Week 2023 in Malaysia. The session on “Empowering Sustainable Transportation: Clean Mobility Solutions in Asia-Pacific” showcased a collaborative commitment to address climate challenges, and emphasised the importance of immediate and collective action in achieving clean and sustainable mobility solutions in the region.
Mr. Emani Kumar, Lead Director of the ALP and Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia, commenced the session by introducing the new ALP Steering Committee, which will guide and organise support activities for ALP members from November 2023 to October 2025.
In her presentation, Ms. Soumya Chaturvedula, Deputy Director, ICLEI South Asia, spoke about the role of the ALP in actively engaging with national governments in the Asia-Pacific region, and providing them a non-political platform for collaboration on clean mobility, energy efficiency and subnational integration. She also emphasised the ALP’s commitment to support national governments in revising their Nationally Determined Contributions and developing long-term plans. The Leadership Group on Clean Transport in Asia (LG-CTA) is a flagship initiative of the ALP’s Clean Mobility Community of Practice, which supports countries in Asia advance transitions toward a net-zero emission transport system. Ten Asian countries are part of the leadership group. Ms. Chaturvedula highlighted the support the ALP and the Global Climate Action Partnership (GCAP) can provide, including technical assistance and peer-learning services tailored to the needs of members.
Referring to the fact that the world was falling behind targets to limit global warming to 1.5°C, Mr. Alok Jain, CEO and Managing Director, Trans-Consult Ltd., stressed the importance of swift and collective action, especially in the transport sector, which remains a significant contributor to carbon emissions. He introduced a report on the NDC Transport Initiatives for Asia’s vision of achieving carbon-neutral transport in Asia by 2050. This vision entails a highly efficient and decarbonised transport sector that provides inclusive, zero-carbon options. The report identifies blind spots, particularly in freight, and proposes a comprehensive approach involving rail and water transport for freight and last-mile delivery by electric vehicles (EV).
Mr. Marlon Apanada, Southeast Asia Engagement Lead, Energy and Climate at the World Resources Institute, and GCAP Finance Working Group Co-Chair, spoke about the working group’s role, and emphasised the GCAP’s dedication to scaling up green finance in emerging markets, particularly within the transport sector, urban mobility, and EVs. He highlighted ongoing efforts, including scoping the EV market in Vietnam and supporting the Philippines in developing sustainable transport projects.
Ms. Priyanthi Gunasekara, Legal Officer, Ministry of Transport and Highways, Sri Lanka, reiterated her country’s commitment to advancing clean and sustainable transportation, and outlined key initiatives, including the promotion of EVs and hybrid vehicles, modernisation of suburban railways, and infrastructure development in the marine sector. She also explained Sri Lanka’s efforts in promoting non-motorised transport, expanding the bus fleet, and transitioning three-wheelers to EVs.