G20 Side Event CEM14 / MI8: Goa joins Telangana to reach 100% zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles sales by 2040

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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The 4th Energy Transitions Working Group  Meeting under India’s G20 Presidency in Goa was held on July 19, 2023. On the sidelines of the main event, the 14th Clean Energy Ministerial and 8th Mission Innovation( CEM14 / MI8)  too commenced with active participation from more than 34 member countries.

Tourism, policy, and innovation leader Goa, India has endorsed an ambitious global agreement to reach 100% zero-emission new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales by 2040, with an interim goal of at least 30% new sales by 2030. Goa joins fellow India state Telangana, which has been a long-time backer of The Global Memorandum of Understanding on Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles (Global MOU). The announcement was made at the 14th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM14) and 8th Mission Innovation (MI-8) in Goa.

Recognizing the economic, climate, air quality and grid stability opportunities associated with zero-emission transport acceleration and infrastructure development, the growing zero-emission transport community issued a public plea and call to action earlier this week at CEM. They are calling for increased collaboration within and between top national governments, as well as between the transport and energy domains, to accelerate global infrastructure for zero-emission transport. In a public letter, the global community striving for zero-emission transport spotlights the critical economic and climate opportunities that must be seized.

In support of accelerating zero-emission transport ambition in India,  the Zero-Emission Truck High-Level Ambition Group (ZET ) for India was launched. The ZET HLAG coalition brings together top India commercial vehicle and component manufacturers, as well as infrastructure providers that include Volvo Group India, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors, EVage and Omega Seiki Mobility.

The goal of the coalition is to collaboratively identify and work to achieve a strong mix of policies, programs, incentives and partnerships to accelerate India’s zero-emission transport sector. The coalition was launched at a high-level CEM14 event co-led by CALSTART; the India ZEV Research Centre, University of California Davis; and Climate Group.

Trucks and buses are only 5% of India’s on-road fleet but account for 70% of fuel consumption and over 70% of particulate matter emissions. With the goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2070, HLAG organizers and participants agreed that zero-emission transport must be prioritized. An overview of India’s technology pathway to a zero-emission transport future was provided.

CEM14 / MI8 also features a public-facing Technology and Cultural showcase demonstrating cutting-edge advances in clean energy from India and around the world.

The Technology Showcase featured new and emerging technologies like Electric Vehicles, Hydrogen, and other clean technologies from across the world.

Vehicle and Charging Infrastructure was showcased by SIAM, TERI, CALSTART, Drive to Zero, Mission Innovation by the Department of Science and Technology, and Clean Tech Start-up TERI.

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) is an apex national body representing all major vehicle and vehicular engine manufacturers in India. Drive to Zero is a programme of Calstart and clean energy ministerial.

CALSTART works with its member companies and agencies to build a high-tech clean transportation industry that creates jobs, cuts air pollution and oil imports and curbs climate change. We work with the public and private sectors to knock down barriers to innovation, progress and drive the transportation industry to a clean and prosperous future.

CALSTART accelerates the pace of technology and is a market-building organization.

The Drive to Zero program and campaign aims to accelerate the growth of global zero-emission (ZE) commercial vehicle space, with the aim of ZE technology becoming commercially competitive by 2025 and dominant by 2040 in specific vehicle segments and regions.

This call to action was announced as a part of supporter ZEVWISE coalition’s CEM14 side event, Zero-Emission Trucks and the Energy Sector: Bridging the Gap and Financing the Transition. Participants discussed key levers to achieve the timely delivery of adequate charging infrastructure and how to finance this critical transition.

The data is clear— we simply are not moving fast enough when it comes to zero-emission trucks, buses, and infrastructure. Active collaboration and cooperation, as well as a mix of strong policies, incentives and programs from across the world’s economies, is critically needed to address rising transport emissions.

By Dr Seema Javed

(the writer is an Environmentalist & A communications professional in the field of climate and energy. )

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