GEF Global E-Mobility Programme To Help Developing Countries Go Electric

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A new Global Environment Facility (GEF) Global E-Mobility Programme launched at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) will help an initial set of 17 developing countries deploy electric vehicles at scale, in support of improved air quality and reduced fossil fuel dependency. 

The new US $33 million programme, launched in Madrid in coordination with the European Commission’s new E-Mobility Solutions Plus Project, represents the first global, coordinated effort to promote and accelerate the uptake of electric mobility in developing countries. 

The programme will help governments establish supportive policies to enable technology transfer, private sector engagement, and access to commercial finance for the introduction of fleets of electric buses, two-wheelers, three-wheelers, trucks, light duty vehicles, and private vehicles. It will also create three regional platforms to support the transition to electric mobility in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean. This work will be closely tied to the GEF Sustainable Cities Impact Programme. 

“Globally, there will be twice as many vehicles on the road by 2050, with nearly all of the projected growth taking place in developing countries, where air pollution is already a major challenge in many cities,” said Gustavo Fonseca, GEF Director of Programmes. “We see tremendous benefit from governments opting to phase out internal combustion engines, both in terms of lower emissions and improved quality of life. The GEF is delighted to help create scale for such efforts through this programme.”

Beyond the GEF financing, the E-Mobility Programme is set to leverage more than $400 million in co-financing, including from the European Commission, the Asian Development Bank, and several other national institutions, international financial and philanthropic organizations, and the private sector. 

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) will implement the programme in partnership with the International Energy Agency (IEA). 

“Recent reports from the IPCC and the UNEP Emissions Gap Report have shown that without a worldwide switch to a zero emissions electric fleet, we will not meet the Paris Climate targets. We need a global approach, and all countries need to start their switch now,” said Rob de Jong, UNEP’s Head of Air Quality and Mobility. “As one of the global leaders in supporting a global switch to electric mobility, UNEP is very pleased that the GEF and the European Commission have made this one of their priorities; we look forward to working with them, and others, to support this global transformation. 

“According to the IEA’s Global EV Outlook 2019, emerging economies could account for around 60 per cent of the world’s electric vehicle fleet by 2030,” said Timur Gül, Head of the Energy Technology Policy Division at the IEA. “We therefore welcome this new global electric mobility programme that builds on existing platforms like the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Electric Vehicle Initiative and brings together different stakeholders to share best practices based on evidence and analysis.”

The initial countries that will participate in the GEF Global e-Mobility Programme include Antigua & Barbuda, Armenia, Burundi, Chile, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, India, Jamaica, Madagascar, Maldives, Peru, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, St. Lucia, Togo, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. 

The GEF has a track record of helping individual countries with electric mobility, including sustainable urban transport projects in Bhutan, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Georgia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Peru, and South Africa.

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