Urgent Call for Zero-emission Vehicles as Part of Global Climate Change Mitigation Strategy

Zero emissions vehicles need to be seen as part of a wider move towards a cleaner transport sector that includes better city planning, public transport and non-motorized transport.

 


The event called for a global approach to the introduction of zero emissions vehicles, to ensure maximum climate and air quality benefits.

 

Paris, 8 December 2015 - Ministers and senior representatives from the industry, civil society and international organizations called today for a swift move to zero-emission vehicles as a key component of a future global climate change strategy.

Currently, the transport sector is almost completely dependent on fossil fuels. It contributes approximately one quarter of all energy related carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, which is set to grow to one-third, faster than any other sector.

Leading by example, some countries have put in place policies to support the use of electric vehicles. For example, through a comprehensive set of fiscal and non-fiscal measures, one out of four cars sold in Norway today is electric, while in China a national 2&3 wheelers strategy that started ten years ago has now resulted in electric two and three wheelers having all but replaced petrol motorbikes in its major cities - with 230 million electric bikes in use to date. Such practices need to be scaled up and replicated around the world to achieve the desired impact.

The event found that while the world will still rely on fossil fuels for transportation needs for some time, the time is now to start a global shift to zero emissions vehicles. The event showed that zero emissions vehicles are successfully being introduced in different market segments - electric 2 wheelers, private cars, and city busses.

The event called for a global approach to the introduction of zero emissions vehicles, to ensure maximum climate and air quality benefits. Organisations present at the event promised to work together to develop such a coordinated global approach.

Experts also recognized that zero emissions vehicles need to be seen as part of a wider move towards a cleaner transport sector that includes better city planning, public transport and non-motorized transport. A recent report of the World Health Organization estimates that annually 7 million people die prematurely because of air pollution, about half from outdoor air pollution.

 

Quotes by leading experts:

Ms. Dijksma, the Netherlands State Secretary for Environment and Infrastructure said that "It is exciting to see that more and more car makers from all around the world are developing and producing mass market zero emission cars. The transition to zero emission mobility is in my opinion unstoppable and also absolutely necessary to make our world more safe, sustainable and livable."

Mr. Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency said: "Electric vehicles can drive us into a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. The IEA has shown that if global warming is to be limited to 2 degrees, at least a fifth of all vehicles on roads by 2030 should be electric."

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), said: "The time has come for a global push towards zero-emission vehicles. The continued use of fossil fuels for vehicles is costing too much - in terms of climate, air pollution and economies. To get the necessary benefits we need to ensure this will indeed be a global shift - in all regions and countries"

Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat - UN Human Settlements Agency - said: "ZEVs will also reduce local air pollution in cities that is causing immense damage to health and the economy. The uptake of electric-mobility will be more feasible and also fruitful if cities adopt compact planning and measures to improve public transport."

 

Notes to Editors:

Several existing and new programs to promote zero emissions vehicles were showcased at the event, including the Electric Vehicles Initiative of the International Energy Agency, the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative of UN-Habitat, and the International Zero Emission Vehicle Alliance, launched in 2015 with eleven founding national and subnational members. UNEP announced a new global programme to support emerging economies to move to electric mobility.



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