This paper is a produced by the Bridging the Gap (BtG) initiative and the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT): Bridging the Gap is a multi-stakeholder initiative to link climate change and land transport more closely and gain better recognition of its potential in mitigating GHG emissions. The SLoCaT Partnership promotes the integration of sustainable transport in global policies on sustainable development and climate change.
Today, the transport sector accounts for almost a quarter of energy-based, polluting CO2 emissions, a share that is expected to grow. If no countermeasures are taken, CO2 emissions from the transport sector are projected to rise by about 70% between 2010 and 2050. NAMAs offer a unique opportunity for developing countries to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from their transport sectors. They are being considered as an attractive way to overcome barriers to sustainable transport and catalyse the implementation of desired sustainable transport actions. As this report shows, developing countries are increasingly aware of the benefits of engaging with NAMAs, especially with regards to the transport sector.
The number and quality of transport NAMAs and NAMA feasibility studies has increased since the UNFCCC’s first call for developing countries to submit NAMA intentions in 2010. Transport NAMAs and NAMA feasibility studies account for 16% (in total 24) of the activities in the Ecofys NAMA Database. Insights from experts who have been directly involved with transport NAMAs reveal that these only account for a small proportion of the NAMAs being considered and developed.
Unfortunately, obligations to government officials, resource constraints, and institutional or individual preferences lead to incomplete and infrequent knowledge sharing about transport NAMAs. But there are clear benefits to learning lessons from experiences and, throughout the research, diverse stakeholders stressed the importance of sharing best practices in NAMA development. Therefore, there is a need to consider how international knowledge sharing can become more commonplace.
Measures as well as modes targeted by Transport NAMAs vary considerably. But all transport NAMA developers are seeking to realise the transformational potential of transport NAMAs during selection and preparation. It is still too early to anticipate the likely impact of NAMAs.
A sole dominant driver for developing country engagement with transport NAMAs does not exist. Drivers include co-benefits, funding opportunities, potential to catalyse transformation of all or part of the transport sector, technical assistance, achieving mitigation impacts and the relatively high reputation of transport sector policies. Most NAMA actions would eventually be progressed in the context of wider domestic strategies and policies anyway. However, the type and availability of support earmarked for NAMA preparation and implementation is a considerable driver for government officials to consider NAMAs. In doing so, climate change considerations are likely to be integrated into domestic transport policies.
Inadequate data availability is the main challenge facing transport NAMA development, financing and MRV. Human capacity and financing are further challenges facing nearly transport NAMA development. All of the 31 possible challenges listed in the survey (see Section 3 and Annex 1) have been experienced by respondents. These challenges and barriers vary due to the local and institutional background of the respondents. Due to these different experiences and capacities, best practices, participatory and collaborative approaches during transport NAMA development are particularly important. It also makes it important to have clear guidance from the UNFCCC and from potential funders of NAMAs.
Stakeholders are learning by doing and many different effective practices are being applied and adapted. They are already leading to tangible benefits beyond the scope of NAMAs. Good practices will continue to emerge and evolve as experience with transport NAMAs increases. But the hurdles to upscaling transport NAMA engagement, preparation and implementation cannot be cleared without international support.
There is domestic commitment to advancing transport NAMAs and this is vital to the development and impact of NAMAs. International support is needed in order to complement domestic resources. International support needs are extensive, broad and include financial and technical assistance that is complemented by strategic capacity building. This research indicates that no dominant international support need exists. To meet these diverse support needs will be a tremendous challenge for the development of transport NAMAs. NAMAs will rely, as traditional transport measures do, on the allocation of significant amounts of public domestic resources that are intelligently mixed with climate finance on the one hand and used to leverage private sector finance for sustainable transport measures on the other. The future of transport NAMAs therefore depends on the provision of appropriate international support.
This report briefly explores each of these issues and provides recommendations for key stakeholder groups on how actors can contribute to increasing the scale of engagement with transport NAMAs, the impact of these NAMAs, and the time taken to progress from NAMA identification to implementation.