Accelerating the transition to electric mobility in public transport of the region

 “During the event, key initiatives and lessons learned to accelerate the deployment of zero-emissions and climate-resilient mobility in Latin America were presented”

Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, 21 August 2019. In the context of Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week, the thematic block “Building sustainable cities through mobility planning and zero-emission technologies: enabling conditions, strategic alliances and financing” was held.

The event was organised by UN Environment, GIZ, LEDS LAC, C40 and SLoCaT, with support from the EUROCLIMA+ programme of the European Union.

The panel was divided into three thematic sessions in which key initiatives and lessons learned to accelerate the deployment of zero-emission and climate-resilient mobility in Latin America were presented. During the event, perspectives were shared by high-level government representatives, as well as representatives of cities, private and financial sectors, and civil society.

Urban sprawl, a lack of integrated planning and capacities, as well as the absence of strong partnerships and efficient financial mechanisms, are the main barriers that need to be addressed in Latin American cities so that the transformation to sustainable low-carbon transport can become a reality.

In the first session of the workday, high-level representatives shared steps for leading the way towards sustainable cities through zero emissions and resilient urban mobility. The discussion focused on highlighting the contribution of urban mobility and zero-emission technologies to climate change mitigation in the next generation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that will take place in 2020.

In the second block, emphasis was placed on how the private sector, through the application of new zero-emission technologies such as electric propulsion vehicles, supports the implementation of transit-oriented development models and helps accelerate sustainable, socially inclusive and climate-resilient urban mobility. The session also facilitated exchange on how legal and regulatory frameworks are transforming private investment in line with sustainable movements in cities.

In closing, there was a discussion on the need to generate specific financial mechanisms and business models to expand investment in sustainable urban mobility and what role national and sub-national governments should assume to unblock private investment in sustainable urban mobility and zero-emissions solutions, for example, through the insertion of electric public transport.

The event was attended by high-level personalities from the region, such as Roberto Castelo Branco, Secretary of International Relations of Brazil; Sergio Bergman, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Argentina; and Verónica Geese, Secretary of State for Energy of Santa Fe, Argentina.

According to the UN Environment 2018 Regional Report on Electric Mobility, the vehicle fleet in Latin America and the Caribbean could triple in the next 25 years. The transport sector is the main consumer of fossil fuels in the region and therefore it is the main source of air pollution. Electric mobility can help countries modernise their mass transit systems while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in line with their Paris Agreement commitments.


EUROCLIMA+  is a programme funded by the European Union to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, particularly for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations. The Programme is implemented under the synergistic work of seven agencies: Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), French Development Agency (AFD), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Expertise France (EF), International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), and UN Environment.

For more information, please contact:

Communication Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean, UN Environment: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +507 305-3182.