Utilizing Smart Transport Technologies to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from the Transport Sector
The Asia-Pacific region has witnessed rapid urbanization and motorization in recent years. In 2016, 48.7 per cent of the region’s 4.3 billion population lived in urban areas. According to recent projections, by 2030, the total regional urban population will reach 3.2 billion (63 per cent urban share). In addition, most developing countries in Asia witnessed a growth in motorization of around 3-7 per cent. In this context of rapid urbanization and motorization, cities are experiencing problems of traffic congestion that result in increased combustion of fossil fuels, the main source of fuel for motor vehicles, and consequently a deterioration in the air quality as a result of vehicle emissions. In 2016, Asian cities experienced severe traffic congestion ranging from a 30 to 50 per cent (increase in overall travel times when compared to a free-flow situation). Over the period 2008-2013 and from the 24 countries in the Asia-Pacific that recorded data on PM2.5 in cities, only 5 countries met the PM2.5 levels recommended by the World Health Organization. At the same time, advanced information and communication technologies have permeated most countries in Asia, which have dramatically changed our lives. In particular, smart transport technologies, including Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), have proven their ability to address urban traffic issues and reduce GHG emissions from the transport sector. The beauty of such technologies is the potential to generate relatively immediate results without the need for significant transport infrastructure investment. However, despite the potential benefits from new smart transport technologies, many countries in Asia still lag behind in utilizing such technologies to improve the overall efficiency of transport systems and reduce related GHG emissions. Two main reasons have led to this situation – low awareness and understanding, and low technical capacity to deploy smart transport technologies in support of greener transport systems.
Against this backdrop, this workshop aims to increase the awareness and understanding of smart transport technologies (including ITS) currently in use and the linkage to mitigate GHG emissions, provide an update of the status of smart transport applications, including plans and policies, provide an overview of emerging technologies relevant to the green transport, and to strengthen the capacity of target countries in Southeast Asia to develop policies by utilizing such technologies for mitigating GHG emissions to contribute to the NDCs. The workshop is being organized by ESCAP together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Korea Railroad Research Institute.