Road transport is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emission in Samoa and mitigation actions to reduce emission of gases include introduction of electric cars and electric buses.
According to the breakdown of Samoa’s total gas emissions, road transport accounts for 27 percent of Samoa’s total gas emissions.
Livestock farming follows with 25 percent.
The transport sector therefore has an important role to play in climate change mitigation opportunities.
All countries in the world including Samoa are expected to contribute to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Some countries Samoa included have developed NAMAs ( Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions) Plans to achieve this goal.
NAMAs provides a framework for pursuing a country’s socio-economic and development goals, while contributing towards global green house gas mitigation efforts. They are voluntary and non-binding policy instruments.
Samoa’s has come up with three interventions for its Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). Short term technical interventions are scaling up bio-diesel vehicles and the introduction of electric cars. The long term technical intervention is the introduction of electric buses for public transport.
Reasons for choosing these three interventions stated in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Transport Sector produced by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment MNRE in 2018 are:
“Samoa has an existing capacity for bio fuels in the SROS research program and that globally electric transport options are progressing at a staggering rate. Electric buses are also emerging as a solution for sustainable transport, with over 150,000 electric buses in service around the world (2016) mostly in China.”
Also stated are plans worked out for the trial of electric cars and electric buses.
100 electric cars will be trialled as taxis as a pilot phase. “The aim of the pilot phase is to check up-scaling viability and acceptability, generate awareness about electric cars including highlighting its importance for the transport sector and to provide support and maintenance facilities for the vehicles.”
For the introduction of electric buses for public transport 10 electric buses ( 2 large and 8 mini buses) will be trialled for transport. Aim of the pilot phase is the same as the electric cars. “In addition to generating awareness about electric buses for public transport include highlighting its importance for the transport sector.”
Funding for both electric cars and electric buses include the capital costs for the electric cars and electric buses, charging stations and capacity building measures.
Estimated cost of the pilot phase for the introduction of electric cars is $5,614, 125 and for electric buses it is $3,861, 250.
Funding is expected to come from the government of Samoa and donors.
The shift to low emission transport sector is not without challenges especially in developing countries. These include the expense of the transition as” low carbon technologies typically being more capital intensive than existing technologies