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World Environment Day: Green Mobility for Clean Air Policy Dialogue

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World Environment Day: Green Mobility for Clean Air Policy Dialogue
Type: Conference
Location: Bangkok, Thaila...
Organizer: RPAC
5th June 2019, Grand Diamond Room, Impact Forum building
Impact Muangthong Thani convention center, Nonthaburi province, Thailand

Objectives 
Press conference: 

  • Announce the policy dialogue on “Green Mobility for Clean Air” to be held during the 2019 World Environment Day event, hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand in collaboration with the SWITCH-Asia Regional Policy Advocacy Component funded by the EU and managed by UN Environment, Asia Pacific Office. 
  • Disseminate the importance of using sustainable means of transport to beat air pollution while promoting sustainable consumption and production.

Policy dialogue on ‘Green mobility for clean air’:

  • Raise awareness among key players in the transport sector of the importance of promoting sustainable means of transport to beat air pollution and improve human health. These key players include technology producers, legislators as well as users.
  • Raise awareness of the importance of promoting green mobility to meet Thailand’s road map on sustainable consumption and production.
  • Showcase best practices on green mobility currently being implemented in Thailand.

The WED official celebration:

  • Showcase best practices on green mobility currently being supported by the Thai government, the EU and UN Environment.

Highlights

  • PM.2.5 and PM 10 levels in Thailand are still too high and fail to meet WHO guidelines.
  • The highest episode of PM in Bangkok during 2018 was mostly caused by emissions from cars and open burnings.
  • Some of the key actions to undertake to beat air pollution are related to the transport sector. Examples of of these actions include: i) strengthen emission standards for road vehicles; ii) regularly maintain and inspect vehicles; iii) mainstream electric vehicles; iv) provide better mobility options; v) control dust from construction and roads; vi) reduce emissions from international shipping.
  • Thailand is making rapid progress in supporting green mobility in the country, but there is still much to be done.
  • The implementation of Thailand Sustainable Consumption and Production Roadmap 2017-2036 will help the country to reduce air pollution. 
  • Green technology, innovation and access to green finance are key aspects to support green mobility in Thailand from the producer side.  
  • From the “consumer” side, better transport infrastructure and a continuous awareness program will be needed to promote sustainable lifestyles. 
  • The awareness raising campaign developed in the Lampang province to stop forest burning practices could serve as example to develop a campaign to promote green mobility.
  • 'Europe on the Move' is a wide-ranging set of initiatives that could be showcased in Thailand to make traffic safer; encourage smart road charging; reduce CO2 emissions, air pollution and congestion; cut red-tape for businesses; fight illicit employment and ensure proper conditions and rest times for workers. The long-term benefits of these measures will extend far beyond the transport sector by promoting growth and job creation, strengthening social fairness, and widening consumers’ choices.
  • We all have a role to play to beat air pollution and the choices with the mode of transport we use are very powerful.

Background

World Environment Day takes place every year on 5 June. Since the first celebration in 1974, it has become the largest annual celebration of the environment, with millions of people joining in to leave a lasting legacy for the planet. A host country leads the official celebrations, highlighting its challenges and showcasing the solutions it has adopted. 
This year, air pollution is the theme and China is the host country. The aim is to spur governments, industry and individuals to come together to explore renewable energy and green technologies and improve air quality across the world.

The problem – Air pollution

According to the World Health Organization, every year, around 7 million people die prematurely from diseased caused by air pollution. That is 800 people every hour, or 13 every minute, dying because of the dirty air they breathe. Approximately, 4 million of these deaths occur in the Asia Pacific region.
Unless we act swiftly, even more lives will be lost: premature deaths caused by air pollution could increase by 50−100 per cent by 2050, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
One of the major sources of air pollution in cities are emissions from vehicles. The transport sector is currently responsible for about one quarter of energy related carbon dioxide emissions. This is set to grow to one-third by 2050.

A solution – Green mobility

In 2018, the first Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, organized by the WHO in collaboration with UN Environment and others, was held and participants pledged to aim to reduce air pollution-related deaths by two-thirds by 2030.
joint report by UN Environment, the CCAC and the Asia Pacific Clean Air Partnership, launched at the conference, outlined 25 policy and technological measures that could save millions of lives in the Asia-Pacific region and let one billion more people breath clean air by 2030.
It is not surprising that increasing the number of electric vehicles is one of the 25 clean air measures outlined in this report.
A shift to a zero-emissions transport sector will combine measures that: (i) reduce travel demand (for example through better city design), (ii) shift to more energy-efficient transport modes such as public transport, and (iii) introduce zero emissions vehicles.  

Green mobility and sustainable consumption and production in Thailand
Thailand faces the same challenge on air pollution as the other countries in Asia and the Pacific. In recent years, cities in the country including Bangkok were choked by high level of air pollution.
The good news is that air pollution is preventable. The solutions -- laws, standards, policies, programmes, investments and technologies -- are widely known and can be implemented. And Thailand is already moving in this direction.
Thailand has developed the “Sustainable Consumption and Production Roadmap 2017- 2036” to further promote the Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) concept in different sectors, including the transport sector. This is a great example for the other countries in the region to prioritize SCP practices.

The policy dialogue

This policy dialogue has as main objective to increase awareness on green mobility options in Thailand from both, the consumption and the production perspective. 

The dialogue involved speakers from government, research institute, the private sector and civil society. Among the topics to be discussed are the state of air pollution in Thailand, the health impact of this air pollution, the policy and plan for green mobility and electric vehicles, and the role of green logistics and green supply chain to address air pollution.
The expected outcome of the policy dialogue on green mobility for clean air in Thailand is to increase collaboration among key players of air pollution reduction in the country and advocate for policy action on green mobility. 

SWITCH-Asia Regional Policy Advocacy component

Programme funded by European Union (EU) and implemented by UN Environment to support the mainstreaming of sustainable consumption and production in countries of Asia through dialogue, policy instruments, and regulatory framework focusing on improving resource eciency and managing environmental pollution in consumption and production for all the sectors.

 

Contact details:  

Mr. Mushtaq Ahmed Memon
Regional Coordinator for Resource Efficiency
UN Environment, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Project Manager
Regional Policy Advocacy Component
(SWITCH-Asia – the European Union funded programme)
Email: [email protected]