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  • Writer's pictureCCAP

Improving Fuel Economy and Reducing Vehicle Emissions

As nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) are proposed by developing countries to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and advance sustainable development within CCAP’s MAIN program, CCAP is examining policy options and global success stories that will provide insight and stimulate more discussion. With populations and car ownership rates continuously growing, transportation emissions account for 23 percent of GHG emissions worldwide, making it a particularly important sector for climate change mitigation actions. According to the World Resources Institute, the transport sector has been named the fastest growing GHG-emitting sector in the world. And, as the growth of vehicle use outpaces improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, GHG emissions and air pollution are continuously growing. CCAP has been looking into the feasibility of mitigation actions in multiple sectors – including transportation – within Latin America and Asia.

Latin America

Recent studies have shown GHG emissions from transportation in Latin American have doubled from 1980 to 2007. Although economic growth is the underlying factor, a study by the World Bank suggests the growth of transport emissions is sometimes due to a rise in transportation energy intensity of the economy. In countries where growth of energy consumption in the transport sector outpaces GDP growth, the study recommends regulatory policies. In countries where basic economic growth alone is the driver of transport emissions, fiscal policy instruments are recommended. In either case, it is clear that auto ownership and freight movement are projected to increase as Latin America develops economically, so vehicle efficiency policies will be necessary to encourage low-carbon development and reduce air pollution.


The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects non-OECD Asia will account for 59 percent of the increase in global transportation demand by 2035. To ensure this demand is met as sustainably as possibl