By Andy Sambidge
World Economic Forum says region needs to rethink policies to cut high CO2 emission rates
Urban transport demand is expected to double by 2025 in Middle East cities and governments need a "whole new approach" to cut emission levels, a new study said on Tuesday.
The report released by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Booz & Company said more than 60 percent of the 87 million barrels of oil consumed every day powers the world's transportation system.
It estimates that a $400bn annual investment is required to achieve 25 percent penetration of alternative energy sources from 2010 to 2030 and reduce total oil consumption in transport by 0.5 percent per year.
It said the Middle East needed to rethink its consumption of fossil fuel for transport and mobility.
"While already having some of the largest CO2 emissions per capita, public transport in GCC countries only accounts for about 5-10 percent of all motorised trips.
"Establishing efficient public transport systems and achieving a public transport share of approximately 30-40 percent...is not only beneficial to mitigate increasing congestion but also provides a significant lever to reduce CO2 emissions in the region," the report added.
"The Middle East needs a whole new approach to mobility and public transport", said Fadi Majdalani, vice president of Booz & Company.
"Current emission levels are simply not sustainable. A comprehensive approach of establishing excellent public transport systems and reducing the usage of private cars by means of road tolling...are required - and many cities such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Kuwait and Jeddah in the region are actually acting accordingly."
Ulrich Koegler, vice president of Booz & Company, claimed that freight transport and logistics in the Middle East were "highly inefficient", adding that multi-billion dollar plans for a rail network would help to reduce emission levels.
He added that a comprehensive programme of tight emissions charging schemes and promotion of modern and emission efficient technologies as well as taxation of fossil fuels was required simply to maintain current levels of CO2 emission seen in land transport.
The report said China has pledged to spend $15bn on electric vehicles and aims to put 5-10 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020.