Recognizing the importance of reducing carbon emission in the transportation sector, eight major nations—Canada, China, France, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America—signed a Government Fleet Declaration on November 16, pledging to increase the share of electric vehicles in their government fleets and calling for other governments to join them. The Declaration was announced at the Marrakech Climate Change Conference (COP22) and was developed under the aegis of the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Electric Vehicles Initiative (CEM-EVI).
The Declaration emphasises the renewal of government fleets and showcases specific and voluntary commitments of the endorsing countries to accelerate the introduction of low-emission vehicles in their vehicle fleets. Through this Declaration, the eight signatory governments are taking a leadership role in this movement and sending a strong signal for the need to speed up the transition to low-carbon transport.
Greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector today account for nearly a quarter of total emissions. The share will increase significantly in the coming decades unless high-impact actions are taken. Changing the trajectory of emissions in road transportation involves a global shift towards low-emission vehicles, along with the adoption of broader sustainable transportation principles. The voluntary commitments taken by these countries will reduce fleets’ greenhouse gas emissions and help accelerate the transition to low-emission vehicles, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
CEM-EVI members cooperate to facilitate the global deployment of 20 million electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles, by 2020. This Declaration is also in line with the Paris Declaration on Electro-Mobility and Climate Change and Call to Action released at COP21 during the Lima Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) Transport Focus, which specifies that at least 20 percent of all road transport vehicles (cars, two- and three-wheelers, trucks, buses, and others) globally should be electrically powered by 2030 to respect a less-than-2-degree pathway.
This Declaration also aims at encouraging non-state actors, such as cities, regional and state governments, companies, sectorial federations and other organizations, to accelerate the energy transition with the introduction of clean vehicles in their fleets, including transit buses, taxi fleets, and municipal and corporate fleets.
The adoption and entry into force of the Paris Agreement marked a turning point in the fight against climate change. The world’s attention is now focused on the policies and measures that will follow this success, and I am glad to see France and other nations sending a strong signal to all citizens and to the industry through this Government Fleet Declaration.
–Ségolène Royal, French Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs, responsible for International Climate Relations
The Government of Canada is leading by example and committed to delivering a low-carbon, clean growth economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are pleased to support this Declaration by accelerating the deployment of clean vehicles in our fleet. This support for electric vehicles contributes to our government’s overall strategy to advance clean technology and innovation in Canada.
–Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources
As one of the leads on the CEM-EVI initiative and the host of the 8th Clean Energy Ministerial, China is very pleased to join the Government Fleet Declaration. We hope to implement the Paris Agreement actively, deploying and promoting electric cars together with more countries that have a common objective.
–Wan Gang, Chinese Minister of Science and Technology
Energy efficient next-generation vehicles is one of the key technologies for drastic CO2 emission reduction in the transportation sector. National and local governments are expected to take the lead in the deployment of such vehicles. The Japanese government plans to renew almost all of the government vehicle fleet to next-generation vehicles by 2030 in accordance with the Government Fleet Declaration to accelerate the worldwide deployment of next-generation vehicles.
–Koichi Yamamoto, Japanese Minister of the Environment
The Obama Administration is committed to taking responsible steps to combat climate change, increase access to clean energy technologies, and reduce our dependence on oil. By working together across the federal government and with the private sector, we can ensure that electric vehicle drivers have access to charging stations at home, at work, and on the road—creating a new way of thinking about transportation that will drive America forward. These announcements demonstrate a continued partnership between the Administration, states, localities, and the private sector to achieve these shared goals.
–Christine Harada, Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, White House Council on Environmental Quality
Although the global fleet of electric cars has surged past the one million milestone, it still represents less than one percent of what is needed to decarbonise the energy system. The Electric Vehicles Initiative, including its new Government Fleet Declaration, can play a key role in unlocking the full potential of electric vehicles. The IEA—as the new home of the Clean Energy Ministerial Secretariat—is honoured to be at the heart of its work.
–Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA)
This Declaration is an open document; additional signatory governments are welcomed to communicate their commitments, regardless of whether they are CEM-EVI members.
The text of the Government Fleet Declaration is available here.
About the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM)
The Clean Energy Ministerial is a partnership of the world’s largest and most forward-leaning economies working together to accelerate the global clean energy transition. Together, CEM members—24 countries and the European Union—account for about 90% of clean energy investments and 75% of greenhouse gas emissions. The CEM pairs the high-level political engagement of energy ministers with sustained initiatives and high-visibility campaigns to accelerate clean energy policy and technology deployment. www.cleanenergyministerial.org
About the Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI)
The Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI) provides a forum for global cooperation on the development and deployment of electric vehicles (EVs). The initiative seeks to facilitate the global deployment of 20 million EVs, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles, by 2020.
About the International Energy Agency (IEA)
The International Energy Agency, the global energy authority, was founded in 1974 to help its member countries co-ordinate a collective response to major oil supply disruptions. Its mission has evolved and rests today on three main pillars: working to ensure global energy security; expanding energy cooperation and dialogue around the world; and promoting an environmentally sustainable energy future.
This article originally appeared on the IEA website.