Freight transport is a key enabler of trade and development, but is also a major emitter responsible for 40-50% of global transport-related CO2 emissions according the International Transport Forum’s recent annual outlook. As freight transport volumes are forecasted to grow much faster than passenger transport in coming decades, particularly in Asia, mitigation efforts in this sector will be crucial.
Compared to the sector’s environmental impact, green freight receives a disproportionally low amount of attention in terms of policies, investments, or support initiatives. Comprehensive government intervention is needed to enable and push companies to adopt more sustainable practices, and to leverage transformational change in the sector.
In order to promote the green freight agenda in Asia, GIZ’s Transport and Climate Change Project has developed a background paper on ‘Green Freight in Asia in the Context of the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs). This paper was prepared for the Intergovernmental 10th Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Forum in Asia, held 14-16 March 2017 in Vientiane, the capital of Lao PDR. As in previous years, GIZ has been a partner of this forum, and held a presentation on the green freight background paper as well as on road safety.
Key messages of the background paper include:
- Green freight policies and activities produce myriad co-benefits and can contribute to the achievement of 13 of the 17 SDGs.
- Promoting green freight further supports the goals of a number of international environment and development frameworks including the Paris Agreement and the New Urban Agenda.
- Awareness of the need for green freight is increasing across Asia, but this has yet to translate into comprehensive and ambitious policy action.
- Key areas for action include embedding sustainability in the planning process of freight systems; working across ministries and in partnership with enterprises through green freight programmes; adopting a regional framework for collectively addressing common issues; increasing action on sustainable urban freight; and using standardised indicators based on higher-quality data.
The full paper is available for download. Other documents from the forum are available on the 10th EST Website, including the chair’s summary which provides a good overview of the plenary discussion on Green Freight in the Context of the SDGs and of other sessions.
Example of how Green Freight can support the achievement of SDGs