Vanuatu imports over 56 million litres of fuel each year with diesel being the largest volume (63%). Of this volume, 50% is consumed by the transport sector alone. An analysis of Vanuatu’s net CO2 emissions as per Vanuatu’s Bi-annual Update Report of 2021 to the UNFCCC, presents that the Transportation sub-sector is responsible for 52.7% of emissions, Electricity Generation 27.5%, Manufacturing/Construction 15.4% and the remaining other sectors 4.5%. Interestingly, a further sub-sector analysis of the transport sector shows that within this sub-sector, road transport accounts for 78.6% of emissions, Domestic Aviation 9.6% and Domestic Water Borne Navigation 11.7%.

Additionally, it is estimated that Vanuatu has been importing around 694 vehicles on average every year since 2018. This includes both new and used vehicles. The used vehicle market in particular has grown significantly in the last 5 years.

Recognizing this challenge and having developed national policy frameworks to tackle this through the National Energy Road Map, the Low Emissions Development Strategy, as well as Vanuatu’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), the Ministry of Climate Change has been progressively advancing vital work to establish vehicle emission and fuel quality standards for Vanuatu. This work endeavors to lower Vanuatu’s Greenhouse Gas emissions and increase energy efficiency through improvement in the efficiency of vehicles.

With support from the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) through the Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards Project (VESP), the ministry has been consulting with key stakeholders in the land transport sector including government agencies, fuel suppliers, vehicle dealerships and land transport associations. The key objective of the consultations is to sensitize all these important stakeholders on the important undertaking by Government as well as to solicit there input into the development of the vehicle emission and fuel quality standards for Vanuatu.

Director of the Department of Energy Mr. Antony Garae stated that “All stakeholders have engaged positively in the consultations, particularly the major players in the private sector. The process has not only benefited from their input and experience but they have also shared crucial data that is critical to inform the development of the standards. We believe that their willingness to engage and to share data demonstrates their commitment to contribute to the sustainable development priorities of the Government as well as to deliver on their own individual corporate environmental responsibilities”.

The stakeholder , which commenced in August 2022, have now culminated in the development of two policy briefs, a Vehicle Emissions Policy Brief and a Fuel Quality Policy Brief. Both policy briefs will now be subject to review and deliberations by the government and private sector stakeholders in mid-June 2023 through a validation workshop that will be convened jointly by the Ministry of Climate Change and GGGI in Port Vila.

Jesse Benjamin, Senior Program Officer- GGGI Vanuatu Office explains “The key next step now for the vehicle emission and fuel quality standards is the validation of the policy briefs. Upon validation, the briefs shall provide Government with the policy basis to formulate the necessary regulatory framework to guide the future implementation and enforcement of the standards. Based on the collaboration with key stakeholders, the vehicle dealerships in particular, the Government will continue to consult as well as provide ample time and notice prior to any regulations coming into force. We acknowledge the Ministry of Climate Change for its leadership as well as the commitment of the national stakeholders and we look forward to advancing the next steps in partnership with the Government and its key stakeholders in Vanuatu”.

The Vanuatu Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards Project is funded through the Low Emission Carbon Development (LECRD) Programme of the New Zealand Government, it is administered in Vanuatu by GGGI and is executed by the Government of Vanuatu through the Department of Energy and the National Air Quality Taskforce under the Ministry of Climate Change.

Contact: Mr. Jesse Benjamin
Senior Program Officer – GGGI Vanuatu Office
Department of Energy
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Mobile: 5523123