A two-day sub-regional workshop focusing on cleaner and more energy efficient vehicle strategies for Mauritius and the Southern Africa regions, kicked off this morning at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel in Balaclava in the presence of the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, and other eminent personalities.
In his address, Minister Sinatambou underlined that the protection of environment stands high on Government's agenda and relentless efforts are being made to tackle the pressing challenges of pollution and climate change in Mauritius.
He highlighted that over a decade, the increase in the number of motor vehicles has led to a rise of 30% in fuel consumption. Greenhouse gas emissions are being fuelled to a large extent by the transport sector and this alarming situation needs to be rectified, he stressed.
On that score, Minister Sinatambou recalled that the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, submitted to the United Nation Conference on Climate Change held in Paris in 2015, signifies Mauritius's intention to increase green energy to 35% by 2035. It is therefore vital to come up with mitigation strategies and action plans to achieve a cleaner, greener and safer Mauritius, he reiterated.
For his part, Minister Bodha underscored Government's objective to provide a modern and safe land transport mobility of people by adopting more energy-efficient vehicle strategies. Speaking of the Metro Express project, he emphasised that the light rail system is much more sustainable and environment friendly compared to other means of transport.
Some 80 local and international delegates are attending the workshop on Promoting Cleaner, more Energy efficient Vehicle Strategies. The main objective of this forum is to address the causes of increasing greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption by the transport sector. It will also provide a platform for the participants to share their knowledge and expertise in order to come up with a regional fuel economy roadmap.
It will be facilitated by resource persons from the United Nations Environment, the Southern African development Community, the East African Community amongst others. The workshop forms part of the Global Fuel Economy Initiative project which is funded by the European Union and the Global Environment Facility. The aim of this project is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fuel use by at least 50% by 2050.