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GIZ Sustainable Mobility in China

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We provide news, opinions and reports on policy and technology developments in the transport and mobility sector in China and around the world.

China, with a total of 10.5 Gt of CO2 in 2018, is the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG)[1]. Transport accounts for about 11 percent of those emissions and in particular road transport poses a big challenge to the people: The number of vehicles on China’s roads has increased from 27 million vehicles in 2004 to 240 million vehicles in 2018. The country’s road network is already approaching the limit of its capacity and continuing rapid urbanization and the further growing motorization in cities come along with significant increase in traffic volume and greenhouse gas emissions, congestion, air pollution, traffic accidents as well as related economic losses and overall reduced life quality. The COVID-19 epidemic has so far accelerated this development and led to decreasing shares of public transport, growing car ownership and shares of trips with the private car. In particular the promotion of biking and walking as…

Against the background of global climate change, cities around the world are under immense pressure to make their transport systems more sustainable and climate friendly. Electro-mobility, ride-hailing, shared- and micro-mobility, autonomous driving and Big Data-based smart city and traffic management applications are offering opportunities to make transport more efficient and sustainable. Along with these opportunities comes the increasing unpredictability of how the future of transport and mobility will look like and which climate, environmental and social impacts are associated with these emerging trends. It is therefore of high urgency to have effective policies in place to ensure the climate and environmentally-friendly development of the mobility of tomorrow and to achieve the goals of sustainable development, outlined in global frameworks such as the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the Paris Agreement or the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In order to discuss the future of…

The transport sector in China needs to start outlining intermediate efforts to play its role in reaching the recently set long-term target: carbon neutrality by 2060 as announced by China’s President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 during his speech at the General Debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. In particular, the transport sector plays a key role in achieving the ambitious target of decarbonization. The transport-related carbon emissions in China increased from 397 million tons in 2005 to 1.04 billion tons in 2018[1], accounting for about 10 percent of the country’s total emissions. Emission reduction, ambitious roadmaps and measures in transport are crucial to realizing the target of carbon neutrality, since transport is the only sector where carbon emissions will be most unlikely to peak around 2030. However, China in its Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement pledged to have carbon emissions peak…

With a share of about 28 percent of global CO2-emissions, China is the world’s biggest emitter. With a total of 1.04 billion tons of CO2 in 2018[1], the transport sector in China accounts for about 10 percent of the country’s carbon emissions. Even though freight and logistics vehicles account for only about eight percent of the country’s total vehicle fleet, they account for approximately 70 percent of transport-related CO2-emissions. This makes the freight transport and logistics sector an important key element of the country’s roadmap to decarbonise transport – as part of China’s plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2060 and peak carbon emissions around 2030 while making best efforts to peak earlier. Annual total CO2 emissions, by world region, Source: Carbon Dioxide Analysis Center (CDIAC), Global Carbon Project (GCP) In recent years, freight volume in China has been increasing on average by almost 15 percent annually. The total freight…

China, once known as the kingdom of bicycles, has a long history of widespread bicycle usage. With growing urbanization, industrialization and popularization of alternative transport modes (such as subways), the status of the bicycle is at stake as usage is decreasing rapidly. However, the bicycle as a non-motorized transport mode is still a crucial vehicle to cover short and middle distances in urban and rural areas, with the further upside of low associated emissions and an increased quality of life. The following study starts by examining the general development of transport and systematic bicycle planning in China on a national level and is followed by a detailed analysis of the current bicycle systems and developments in six exemplary Chinese cities (Beijing, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Xiamen, Shenzhen and Zhangjiakou). Zhangjiakou is an important example here, as the Chinese government set the goal to transform the city‘s transport sector towards sustainability until the…

Transportation experts at MIT have developed new insights into how decision makers in hundreds of Chinese cities design and adopt policies relating to transportation — policies that could together curtail the rapidly growing demand for personal vehicles in China. Based on a mathematical analysis of historical data plus text analysis of policy reports, the team concludes that Chinese cities that have experienced similar urban development and motorization trends over time prioritize the same types of transportation policies to deal with their local conditions. Such a pattern is of interest to urban decision makers seeking role models for developing transportation policies. In addition to looking to Beijing and Shanghai — the trendsetters for innovative policymaking — decision makers can now learn by working with cities that face transportation challenges more similar to their own. The study Chinese cities have experienced diverse urbanization and motorization trends that present distinct challenges for municipal…

The newest issue of our China Transport Sector Policy Briefing is here! The Sustainable Mobility Team at GIZ in China provides you with regular summaries of important policies in China’s transport sector. Inside this issue of the China Transport Sector Policy Briefing Below, you will find Issue 3 of the China Transport Sector Policy Briefing 2020, with summaries of most relevant and noteworthy developments in June and July. Please click here to download the China Transport Sector Policy Briefing 2020, Issue 3Download Selected highlights of this Issue are: The update of China’s NEV Dual Credit System has been finalized. It is used to reward or penalize carmakers based on their share of NEVs and the fuel consumption of their produced fleet. The updated version continues a gradual increase of the required share of NEVs, but allows for some leeway in the calculation by crediting the production/import of vehicles with low…

Road transport, which currently accounts for around 75% of the total Chinese transport volume, is the second largest air-polluting sector in China. According to the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), trucks in particular are responsible for up to 75% of the particulate emissions in road transportation. In recent years, the Chinese government has implemented various measures to reduce emissions and to promote a more sustainable heavy goods transport. Among other things, the Chinese Ministry of Transport (MoT) announced in 2018 that China would abolish one million old diesel trucks in the Jing-Jin-Ji region by 2020. As a result, the demand for trucks with alternative drive systems is expected to increase in the coming years. The future development of these alternative and sustainable power supply solutions in the truck sector strongly depends on how the different interest groups prioritize emission reductions in transport. The most widely used alternative to…

The newest issue of our China Transport Sector Policy Briefing is here! The Sustainable Mobility Team at GIZ in China provides you with regular summaries of important policies in China’s transport sector. Inside this issue of the China Transport Sector Policy Briefing As China has slowly been regaining some kind of normalcy after the break induced by COVID-19, the built-up policy decision-making processes for 2020 have come into full swing in April and May. Below you will find Issue 2 of the China Transport Sector Policy Briefing 2020, with summaries of highly relevant and exciting developments in April and May. Please click here to download the China Sector Policy Briefing 2020, Issue 2Download Selected highlights of this Issue are: The economic slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has put a buffer on China’s economic and infrastructure ambitions. The National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political…

The Chinese Spring Festival marks the beginning of a new year in the lunar calendar. It is known as China’s most celebrated holiday and a time for family reunification. The annual peak in travel associated with the lunar new year is the ultimate stress test for China’s transportation system. During chunyun (春运) translated as Spring Festival Transportation, every year up to 3 billion trips are made within a period of about 40 days1 domestically and to international destinations (compared to 116 million Americans traveling during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday in 20192). With passenger volumes rising annually, chunyun is holding on to its title as the world’s most voluminous human migration. This year’s Chinese Spring Festival Travel Rush, however, coincided with a particular challenge as it came at a time when China faced a major public health crisis with severe societal ramifications: The outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, which is thought to have originated in Wuhan, a hub in China’s transport and logistics network, and had reached pandemic proportions only weeks later. In the first days of the Spring Festival 20203 before initial transport restrictions were put in place to stall the spread…