GFEI at the heart of talks on sustainable mobility at COP22
The Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI), hosted and supported by FIA Foundation, has been ensuring that the global climate change talks held in Marrakech in Morocco drive action in the transport sector and reduce vehicle emissions. The COP22 talks follow the successful negotiation and ratification of the Paris Agreement, which was agreed in December 2015.
GFEI released a new update report outlining progress and action to implement fuel economy policies since COP21 in Paris. At that meeting the Global Fuel Economy Initiative set an ambitious goal of extending its partnership to include 100 countries committing to contributing to doubling average fuel economy globally by 2050 – ‘100 for 50by50’. The new report sets out how GFEI has expanded its country engagement from 26 countries to over 65. Launching the report, Sheila Watson (GFEI’s Executive Secretary and Deputy Executive Director of the FIA Foundation, main picture above) said “This report sets out the important progress GFEI is making in reducing emissions from vehicles. We are expanding our work in every region, and galvanising action We are delivering on our COP21 pledge, and we are open for business to do more in 2017.”
Addressing the meeting Sheila outlined the huge benefits of improved fuel economy, including in CO2, air quality, financial savings and improved energy security. She also explained how GFEI is now extending its reach to include a focus on electric and heavy duty vehicles – with important new research published in the past year.
GFEI, together with other aspects of the FIA Foundation’s programme also participated in a series of other side events, including two in the EU Pavilion focusing on sustainable urban mobility and also energy efficiency. Sheila Watson shared the FIA Foundation’s ‘Safe, Clean, Fair and Green’ message, highlighting the Child Health and Mobility Initiative and research on Women’s security on city transport. She also shared the experiences of Mauritius in introducing fuel economy policies through a tax structure that incentivises vehicles with lower emissions.
GFEI was also featured in the Transport thematic day - organised by Michelin and the Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT)- as a ‘Quick win’ initiative. Sheila Watson also led a side event on fuel economy with Lew Fulton of GFEI partner UC Davis, and participated in a panel discussion on electric mobility. GFEI was able to share major new analysis which could inform a heavy duty vehicle fuel economy target, and also highlight the work that GFEI is doing in Africa – and announce plans for a regional African fuel economy event in 2017.
The FIA Foundation supported a high-level networking event on energy efficiency which was addressed by Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive of Sustainable Energy for All, the US Energy Secretary, Dr. Ernest Moniz, the global solar adventurer Bertrand Piccard and by Sheila, who again spoke of the importance of improved vehicle fuel economy for reducing carbon emissions.
Finally COP22 also hosted the 8th Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) High Level Assembly. In September’s Working Group meeting in Paris, the FIA Foundation reiterated a commitment to support work on Light Duty Vehicles, particularly focused on 2-wheelers. The FIA Foundation is a Partner organisation of the CCAC, and was delighted to see the text for which it had loobied – and invocation to countries to improve the efficiency of both their heavy and light duty fleet – included within the final Marrakech Communiqué - “adopting, maintaining, and enforcing world-class diesel fuel quality and tailpipe emissions standards for on road light and heavy-duty vehicles.” GFEI was part of the Global Climate Action Agenda, and is featured prominently in the summary conclusions.