Freight Transport that was up to recently underrepresented in transport and climate policy, in part due to the slow acceptance that freight contributes disproportionately to emissions vis-à-vis passenger transport. State and non-State actors participating in the COP 22 Climate Action Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, reiterated the necessity for the sector to completely decarbonize in the long term and shift to other modes, as much as improving efficiency, looking at health and other aspects such as social and economic benefits.
Panellists during a session on “making freight transport fit for a low-carbon future”, Marrakech, Morocco, 12November 2016.
The COP 22 stressed on Sustainable freight plans which include reducing transport and emission intensities, optimizing supply chains, and improving fuel efficiency.
“Africa needs to leverage on existing frameworks such as the Northern Corridor Green Freight Programme and share knowledge on these successful initiatives”, urged the captains of the Transport industry who were gathered in Marrakech.
According to Donat BAGULA, the Executive Secretary of the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority (NCTTCA), climate-friendly national policies and implementation related initiatives are central to the successful delivery of the Paris goals.
“The Paris Agreement’s success rests on full implementation of the global set of national climate action plans”, said BAGULA who added that “One of the many expectations of the COP 22 was to come up with initiatives such as Green freight strategies and programs that support the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and help integrate them into each country’s development agenda towards the long term perspective of Sustainable Development Goals”.
The Paris Climate Change Agreement endorsed by 200 countries in December 2015 and came into force on 4 November 2016, commits the World to keep global warming below 2oC, seen as the threshold for safety by Scientists, and pursuing a tougher target of 1.5 oC.
The Executive Secretary, in different Transport Sector meetings and discussions during the Marrakech COP 22, shared best practices with participants where he explained in details what the Northern Corridor region needs to achieve with its Green Freight programme.
“By 2021, the Northern Corridor region is aiming at improving fuel efficiency of road transportation; cutting emissions of Particulate Matter (PM), black carbon emissions and Oxides of nitrogen (NOX) grams per ton-km by at least 10% and reducing CO2 emission intensity grams per ton-km by 10%”, revealed BAGULA.
He added that, during the Marrakech COP 22 Conference, the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority (NCTTCA) signed the “Declaration on Accelerated Action on Adaptation in Transport”, which recognizes the critical need for surface transport systems and services to be more resilient to climate change and became a new member of the “Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT).
Though freight transport represents 10-20% of vehicles on the road, it produces as much as 40% of GHG emissions, and over 50% of particulate emissions.
The Paris Process on Mobility and Climate developed 20 quick win actions on policy, regulatory and operational solutions for both human mobility and freight movement for implementation at scale in the pre-2020 period, which cohere with the global roadmap.
Those immediate bold and ambitious actions include to accelerate action on black carbon and phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies, expand car and (e-) bike sharing systems, capacity building, Sustainable freight recognition schemes, use of ICT applications; formulate Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, Implement (ultra-) low emission zones, Zero-emissions (last-mile) urban freight, Improve freight efficiency, Increase bus-based transit, Introduce pricing for motorized travel options and carbon pricing; Encourage cycling and walking, Invest in rural road maintenance, Stricter speeding regulations, Modernize ageing rail fleets, Improve walking and cycling infrastructure, Encourage expansion of electric vehicle fleets and Tighter fuel economy standards.
“The Northern Corridor region is keen to see all these actions implemented for the benefits of the entire population. As the countries are not at the same level, countries have to start with actions in line with their own capabilities; strategize on their priorities”, advised Donat BAGULA.