Sustainable Transportation in the Arab World: International Benchmarking on Sustainable Transport Policies and their Impacts | Ifi Working Paper
Working Paper | February 2015
Sustainable Transportation in the Arab World: International Benchmarking on Sustainable Transport Policies and their Impacts by Issam Kaysi and Farid Chaaban
The world’s transport sector still suffers from unsustainable trends that lead to increased levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There have been efforts, in the Arab world, as well as the rest of the world, to tackle the issue. Work done in the US and Europe exceeds that of the Arab world, and their efforts have been successful, and have thus succeeded in reducing GHG emissions. In the Arab world, most efforts at reducing GHG emissions target fuel standards, vehicle inspection, and public transit. The implementation of fuel standards and vehicle inspection measures can be found in most Arab nations. The implementation of formal, mass transport systems can only be found in some Arab nations such as Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emiriates. The implementation of these measures have not been very successful in many countries, mainly due to the lack of proper enforcement, lack of funding, and a lack of technical expertise. In the US and Europe, a wide range of sustainable transport policies have been implemented, and they include: Fuel efficiency, alternative fuels, speed control, public transit, strict fuel taxes, pricing incentives and disincentives, ridesharing, and effective land use planning. The success of these policies can be attributed to: an effective mix of policies, effective enforcement, public acceptance, and political support. Based on the literature review conducted on the sustainable transport policies in the Arab world and in the US and Europe, and after analyzing any impediments and success factors of those policies, a recommendation on which policies that should be implemented in the Arab world was presented. The recommendations are classified into short, medium and long-term strategies, and they mainly include: Imposing stricter fuel and vehicles standards, effective enforcement, imposing fuel taxes, effective land use planning, and offering reliable alternative modes of transport. Sustainable transport policies must be implemented at a larger scale to tackle the worldwide increase in GHG emissions. Efforts in the US and Europe are well underway, while those in the Arab world have been very limited. There is much work to be done in order to reach a sustainable transport system in the Arab world, but the recommendations presented offer basic guidelines on how to proceed with any sustainable transportation initiative.