IEA convenes EU4Energy forum on sustainable transport policy as momentum grows for electric vehicles and low-emissions fuels

Photo depicts the breathtaking city centre of Tbilisi, Georgia, aerial shot

The International Energy Agency (IEA) gathered key stakeholders and experts for a two-day policy forum in Tbilisi, Georgia, this week that focused on the sustainability of the transport sector in Eastern Europe – part of broader efforts to bolster secure and clean energy transitions among partner countries in the region through the EU4Energy Programme.

The forum promoted the exchange of tools and experiences that could accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and low-emissions transport fuels in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – the five Eastern Partnership countries in the EU-funded programme. Representatives from all five of these countries were actively engaged in discussions at the event, which convened leading voices from government, international organisations, the private sector and civil society.

In opening remarks, Omar Tsereteli, the Deputy Head of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Policy and Sustainable Development at the Georgian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, noted the important role of international cooperation in accelerating clean energy transitions, as well as the crucial need to tackle greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector.

According to the IEA’s roadmap to achieve net zero emissions for the energy sector by mid-century, emissions from global transport need to fall by around a quarter by 2030, even as demand for transportation continues to grow. This will require policies that encourage less carbon-intensive travel options, such as cycling and public transport, as well as the use of more energy-efficient technologies like electric cars and trucks.

The EU4Energy forum in Tbilisi focused on both national and municipal approaches to boost the sustainability of regional transportation, as well as mechanisms to help pay for sustainable transport projects.

The event’s highlights included a panel with speakers from the OECD, the Global Environment Facility, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the International Council on Clean Transport, who discussed how Eastern European partner countries can capture opportunities to leverage international green financing. On another panel, speakers from key urban centres in the region and businesses working on electric mobility solutions shared their expertise and upcoming policy priorities. Given the EU4Energy Programme’s emphasis on integrating energy data into policymaking, statisticians from all five Eastern Partnership countries also participated in the sessions. Presenters highlighted how data can inform the policies necessary to achieve decarbonization goals in the transport sector.

About EU4Energy

The IEA is leading the implementation of the EU4Energy Programme funded by the European Union (EU) for 6 countries of the EU’s Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus*, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

The programme’s aim is to work with these countries to improve energy data capabilities and enhance data collection and monitoring, and to assist them in evidence-based energy policy design relevant to the country’s needs.

*As of 28 June 2021, Belarus has suspended its participation in the Eastern Partnership.

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The EU4Energy programme is funded by the European Union.