Bolstering the India component of the Nationally Determined Contributions - Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC TIA)

Project description

Title: NDC Transport Initiative for Asia – India component
Commissioned by: The Federal German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Countries: India, China and Viet Nam
Overall term: 2019 to 2024

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The transport sector accounts for 23 per cent of global energy-related CO2 emissions (IEA 2017). The Chinese transport sector alone was accountable for 781 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2014. Together with India (231 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent) and Viet Nam (32 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent), the three countries emitted about one gigatonne of CO2 equivalent in 2014 (IEA 2017). Rapid economic growth combined with ongoing urbanisation and increasing motorisation has led to a further increase in traffic volumes in the three partner countries. The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) lie at the heart of the Paris Agreement and are central to achieving long-term climate goals. NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. As such, transitioning towards a decarbonisation path for the transport sector in Asia is essential to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement for 2050.

Currently, India’s transport sector is almost completely dependent on fossil fuels. It accounts for approximately one quarter of all energy-related carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) to the atmosphere. This figure is expected to increase to one third, implying that the growth rate is faster than any other sector. Between 2000 and 2010, the Indian vehicle market doubled, and then doubled again by 2016, with the largest growth seen in 2-wheelers, followed by light-commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles. 

Most cities in India are at an initial stage of development with a growing economy, regional linkage, and a dense and vibrant built environment. The development in Indian cities is accompanied by rise in air pollution levels due to increasing number of vehicles on road. As much as it poses a huge challenge, it also presents a great opportunity to leapfrog towards decarbonising the transport system. With increased awareness among city dwellers about low carbon transport, they are more inclined to use better alternatives to ICE vehicles. If the planning for decarbonisation of transport system is achieved in the developing stages, cities can avoid having to make major and expensive changes later, which has been the case in the industrialised nations. To attain this goal, integrated decision-making is necessary, and it would require close coordination among multiple agencies on a common platform.


The growing transport sectors in China, India and Viet Nam implementing initiatives to reduce the of use fossil fuels and are moving towards decarbonisation. The experience, knowledge and best practices gained in the project will act as inputs regionally and globally to better achieve the goals set down in the Paris Climate Agreement 2050.

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The NDC TIA intends to contribute to India’s long-term energy security and climate change goals. The project aims to promote a comprehensive approach towards decarbonizing transport by implementing coherent policies and strategies that are coordinated jointly by ministries, civil society and the private sector.

Broadly speaking, the project focuses on the following:

  • Supporting multi-stakeholder dialogue about pathways towards decarbonising transport at the national level.
  • Improving greenhouse gas (GHG) and transport modelling capacities in India 
  • Offering technical support to the stakeholder platform on measures to reduce GHG emissions in transport
  • Outreach and upscaling through an outreach strategy, global/Asian best practices exchange and dialogue with international financial institutions on financing climate actions in transport
  • Defining the focus of activities in the area of electric mobility
  • Supporting the development of policies and technical standards that promote the uptake of electric vehicle charging infrastructure
  • Analysing and recommending policies concerning electric vehicle supply and demand 
  • Developing electric vehicle cost-benefit analysis tools to evaluate e-mobility business models, and to recommend appropriate interventions where needed

The lessons learned from the India component will contribute to the regional and global component through knowledge dissemination and peer learning.

Last update: December 2020

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