Transportation and energy ministers from 21 nations in the Asia-Pacific region agreed to continue progress to make transportation in the area cleaner and more energy-efficient, according to a news release issued Sept. 13 by the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Energy.
The announcement came during the first-ever joint Transportation and Energy Ministerial Conference held by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the principal economic organization in the region.
The event was hosted by DOE Secretary Steven Chu and DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.
Recognizing that transportation accounts for a large share of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, the ministers directed their energy and transportation working groups to study ways that APEC members could make their transportation systems more energy-efficient.
The ministers noted that APEC economies are making good progress toward the goal, adopted by the organization in 2007, of reducing the use of energy by at least 25% by 2030, and called for efforts to make further improvements and phase out subsidies that promote the use of fossil fuels.
Other goals agreed upon include: developing energy-efficient transportation systems for livable, low-carbon communities; providing alternative fuels for transportation including biofuels, natural gas vehicles and electric vehicles; and making freight transportation more energy-efficient.
“To create jobs and lay the foundation for a prosperous future, we must grow our economies while staying mindful of 21st century challenges like climate change and energy efficiency,” said LaHood. “Our roadways, runways, railways, waterways and transit systems all must move greater numbers of people and products while leaving a smaller environmental footprint.”
“Transportation is directly tied to our energy challenges,” Chu said. “To achieve economic prosperity, strengthen energy security, and protect the environment, we can – and must – move to a sustainable transportation future.”