Road transport is a key element in the mobility of goods and people. It is also a significant energy end-use sector world-wide and thus a major contributor to the increasing Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions as well as other air pollutants.
The global vehicle fleet is set to increase three to four fold in the coming decades, with 90% of the growth taking place in developing and transitional economies. The health, environment and climate impacts of this growth will be monumental and there is urgent need to ensure that the most fuel efficient technology and enabling policies are adopted across the globe.
Kenya is part of a global initiative aimed at stabilizing carbon dioxide emissions from road transport. The initiative, known as the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI), wants to do this by improving the fuel efficiency of road vehicles.
What is GFEI?
GFEI is a partnership of the International Energy Agency, United Nations Environment Programme, International Transport Forum and FIA Foundation.
The 3 core activities of GFEI are:
- Data and research analysis of fuel economy potentials by country and region;
- In-country capacity-building support for national and regional policy-making efforts;
- Outreach and awareness campaigns raising to stakeholders (e.g. vehicle manufacturers);
Using the skills and expertise of GFEI partners, the GFEI Toolkit team establishes a baseline in each country; presents policy options and case studies; and enables all stakeholders to engage in the policy process. Countries such as Indonesia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Chile are already taking part in this policy development process.
Fuel consumption by transport is expected to increase rapidly due to urbanization and economic growth resulting in greater demand for mobility. Countries that rely on fuel imports will experience increasing pressure on their national budgets. Thus, improving efficiency will contribute to lowering dependency on expensive imports and help reduce high fuel expenditures and subsidies.
Furthermore, fuel efficiency could free up finances for basic service provision and investment towards achieving the millennium development goals.