Transport sector decarbonization must to reduce emissions, says India at Dubai climate talks

Transport sector decarbonization must to reduce emissions, says India at Dubai climate talks

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Dubai, December 9 (IANS) Decarbonization of the transport sector is essential to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to meet the ambitious target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2070 set by the Indian government, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav said here on Saturday.

The minister was speaking at a side event on India-US "Payment Security Mechanism (PSM)" for e-buses in India at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) where John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, was also present.

To achieve the goal of net-zero emissions, the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) plays a crucial role and given that buses serve the mass public, prioritizing electric buses is essential as a significant mode for decarbonizing the transport sector, he said.

Yadav said this transitioning to e-buses, however, pose challenges to public transport authorities (PTAs) owing to their high upfront costs and lower realization of revenue from operations.

The India-US Payment Security Mechanism (PSM) for e-buses will serve as an incentive for both Indian and international bus operators to participate in e-bus operations and potentially establish a manufacturing hub in India, contributing to the growth of e-bus industry and e-bus exports, he added.

The minister reminded the audience that it was during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US that the India-US government joint statement to develop a "Payment Security Mechanism (PSM)" was released with an aim to facilitate the deployment of 10,000 made-in-India electric buses.

The move was reaffirmed during India's G20 Presidency, underscoring the importance of reducing carbon emissions in the transport sector.

The minister hoped this initiative will popularize e-buses by encouraging private sector participation in the procurement and operation of these vehicles for an extended period of 10 to 12 years, fostering their adoption throughout India. John Kerry, speaking on the occasion, said "with PSM we are taking a major footstep towards helping India electrify its bus fleet".

He said this move was taking an Indian solution to maximise Indian opportunity to decarbonisation the transportation sector.

It is noteworthy that India is driving a structural change in the transportation sector through the adoption of electric vehicles.

Electrification of the public transport ecosystem is one to the building blocks of this structural change.

India's existing bus fleet stands at 1.5 million, most of which run on diesel.

After a few successful pilots in response to a federal subsidy program, India rolled out a large, unified tender of 5,450 e-buses worth over $1 billion and spread across five states. Discovered prices were significantly lower than diesel. Encouraged by the success, the government established a target of 50,000 e-buses.

A total of 12,000 e-buses in different stages of contracting are now coming onto Indian roads.

The session aimed to discuss a joint US-India collaboration to establish a payment security mechanism to address current constraints.

With the contributions of $240 million from the government of India and $150 million from the US government and their partners, the establishment of the PSM guarantees delayed payments from the fiscally constrained state bus companies.

The PSM aims to unlock up to $10 billion in non-recourse lending to e-bus manufacturers in India to deploy 38,000 buses.