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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

21 February 2024


Good afternoon, Mr. Ke Yousheng, Permanent Representative of China to ESCAP, 

Distinguished delegates from Sri Lanka,

Professor Tu Xinquan, Member of the China Economic and Social Council,

Mr. Karim Fahssis, North Asia Head of Decarbonization at Maersk, 

Distinguished panellists, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to welcome all of you. 

I would like to thank our co-organizers, the Ministry of Transport and Highways of Sri Lanka, the Permanent Mission of China to ESCAP and the UN Environment Programme for their partnership and support.

Transport is instrumental to sustainable economic growth and development. Our region recognizes the important role of safe, affordable and accessible transport systems in connecting people and communities to jobs, schools and health care, in facilitating global supply chains and enhancing international cooperation and trade.

However, as the demand for transport continues to grow, so do the emissions it generates. 

The transport sector is responsible for 13 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions and around half of oil product consumption in Asia and the Pacific.

The current situation has been shaped by a historical dependence on fossil fuels, which still dominate our transport systems, cities and energy supply.

The transport sector continues to grow. In the Asia- Pacific region, transport demand could double in the next 25 years. Accordingly, it is urgent to implement transport solutions with a much smaller climate footprint, getting the region back on track towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

If no swift action is taken, achieving Goals 7 (affordable and clean energy), 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and 13 (climate action) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will become particularly challenging.

Today’s side event focuses on climate action through sustainable transport. More specifically, it explores challenges and opportunities in developing national electric mobility ecosystems which will allow the region’s transportation systems to transition away from their dependency on fossil fuels.

These national challenges and opportunities have emerged from our recent regional and national work on electric mobility, which has been continuously supported by our member States, including China.

Building electric mobility-based transportation systems presents an effective approach to reducing emissions and contributing to decarbonizing the transport sector, which is why the importance of electric mobility and the transition to renewable energy sources is underscored in many Nationally Determined Contributions of our member States.  

Guided by the Regional Action Programme for Sustainable Transport Development in Asia and the Pacific, we have two on-going initiatives to support our member States in the transition to low carbon transport, both launched in 2022.

The first initiative is the Regional Cooperation Mechanism on Low Carbon Transport. The second is the Asia-Pacific Initiative on Electric Mobility.

Both initiatives enjoy strong engagement from our member States as we aim to deepen regional collaboration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector and to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement. 

This side event builds on the outcomes of a multi-year effort to accelerate the transition to electric mobility, which includes the development of regional guidelines, case studies, and the drafting of multiple national electric mobility plans, coupled with extensive capacity-building efforts targeted at policy makers as well as other stakeholders from the public and private sector.

Today’s event aims to provide a platform to support our member States in their next steps to implement sustainable, resilient electric mobility ecosystems.

Climate action requires a multifaceted approach. This is not a challenge that any one country or sector can solve in isolation; it demands collaboration, innovation and shared responsibility. 

In this context, we are grateful to have a distinguished line-up of speakers and panellists.

Thank you for your contributions, and I wish you all a very productive discussion. 

Thank you very much

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