The ASEAN region took a step towards more fuel efficient transport during a productive second forum of the ASEAN Fuel Economy Platform, held in Bangkok on 28 March 2017. The platform meeting was organized by the Transport and Climate Change (TCC) project which works on energy efficiency and climate change mitigation in the land transport sector in the ASEAN region.
The Fuel Economy Platform is a consultative entity established under ASEAN’s Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan 2016—2025 (KLTSP). It aims to support the drafting of a regional roadmap on fuel economy, focusing especially on the light duty vehicle fleet, by giving expert advice, providing scientific knowledge, sharing practical experience and information and well as being a forum for exchange of information. The second forum brought together nearly 50 experts from all 10 ASEAN countries, the ASEAN Secretariat, universities, NGOs, and international organizations.
Improving vehicle fuel economy plays a significant role in reducing transport CO2 emissions, while also improving urban air quality, saving consumers money and reducing oil imports. The forum highlighted ASEAN member states’ current fuel economy situation, which lags behind other major vehicle markets in the world.
In a number of sessions facilitated by GIZ and international fuel economy expert Alex Körner, the forum discussed how ASEAN countries could become global vanguards on fuel economy if suitable policies were introduced and enhanced at the national and regional levels. UN transport expert Bert Fabian highlighted successful fuel economy policies in place around the world, while participants from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and other ASEAN member states offered their countries’ experiences with policy tools like eco-labelling and emissions-based taxes. This body of evidence provided what TCC project director Tali Trigg called ‘not scary’ examples for regional partners to learn from and build upon as they seek to develop the regional roadmap.
The forum reviewed inputs for a draft vision as well as draft goals and milestones for the regional fuel economy roadmap; discussed knowledge gaps; and identified barriers such as working across ministries and sectors on a complex and multifaceted topic. Participants brainstormed on opportunities for further engaging with the auto industry in order to build a supportive foundation for the roadmap. They also noted the need to better engage civil society. The outputs from the forum will help to steer the development of the fuel economy roadmap, a full draft of which is expected by the end of 2017.