The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in collabora-tion with the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges of Bangladesh and the World Bank, on Wednesday held a workshop to accelerate the transition to electric mobility in public transport across South Asia and Southeast Asia.
With the transport sector responsible for approximately 25% of global CO2 emissions, decarbonization is crucial to achieve the Paris Agreement’s objectives of limiting global warming to well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. Electric vehicles (EVs) present a viable solution to significantly re-duce emissions in cities and reduce reliance on fossil fuel imports as well.
The transport sector plays a critical role in driving economic growth, but it is also the largest consumer of petroleum products in Bangladesh, accounting for 63% of consumption.
Unfortunately, the sector is also responsible for 15% of the country’s total emissions, making it the sec-ond-highest domestic source of energy-related emissions and one of the fastest-growing in the region.
It is crucial to decarbonize the transportation sector in order to advance Bangladesh’s sustainable devel-opment objectives, steer the country towards a more eco-friendly path, and enhance access to employ-ment and services, as emphasized in the World Bank’s Country Climate and Development Report.
“Bangladesh must pick its own roadmap for the EV transition, beginning with which segments of e-mobility it wants to focus on,” Dandan Chen, World Bank Operations Manager said. “We believe that the most significant opportunities lie in the 2/3-wheeler and public transport sectors, as they make eco-nomic sense and serve the majority.”
The workshop’s main objectives were to create awareness of EV development in the sub-region and Bangladesh, enhance the capacity of policymakers, encourage regional cooperation mechanism on low carbon transport, and to facilitate discussions on policy recommendations and for accelerating the transi-tion to electric mobility of public transport in Bangladesh.