Mauritius to halve fuel consumption by 2050 under Global Fuel Economy Initiative
Mauritius Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, Deva Virahsamy, revealed at the opening of the 2nd national workshop on the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) that Mauritius was home to 443,500 vehicles in 2013, compared to approximately 276,400 in 2003. (Image: motors.mega.mu)
Mauritius has developed a roadmap to implement the concept of ‘50 by 50’ under the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI), which aims to reduce fuel consumption and vehicle emissions by half by 2050.
This goal, declared at the 2nd national workshop on GEFI held on November 27, 2014, at the Le Maritim Hotel, Balaclava, is an ambitious target to strive towards, but it is even more challenging in the backdrop of the forecast that the fleet of vehicles in the world will have tripled by that time.
And the island economy is no stranger to increasing vehicle use and congestion, with its Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, Deva Virahsamy, having revealed at the opening of the 2nd national workshop on GFEI that Mauritius was home to 443,500 vehicles in 2013, compared to approximately 276,400 in 2003.
This increase in the number of vehicles on our roads has resulted in an emission of 969,500 tons of carbon dioxide in 2013, representing 25.3% of total emissions for the Mauritian energy sector.
By 2030, the number of vehicles in Mauritius will double and it will even triple by 2050 to hit 691,929 vehicles, according to forecasts.
Minister Virahsamy also cautioned that imports of petroleum products by Mauritius have increased by as much as 111% in the last five years, from Rs 6.9 billion in 2009 to Rs 14.6 billion in 2013.
However, the Ministry of Environment is already taking proactive measures to improve the quality of petroleum products with the aim of reducing vehicle emissions and improving the quality of the ambient air, announced Minister Virahsamy.
Some such measures are: the introduction of unleaded petrol in 2002, reducing the sulphur content of diesel to 500 parts per million, tax incentives to encourage the purchase of environmentally friendly cars , reducing excise duty of 25% on electric cars and increasing fines under the Road Traffic (Control of Vehicular Emissions) Act of Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000 for smoke vehicles.
The minister noted that the 2nd National Workshop on GFEI had as its main objective to present the main findings and policy recommendations in this project to those concerned.
Among the audience at the event were Jane Akumu, UNEP Programme Officer, and Eric Van Halewyn , representative of the Delegation of the European Union.
The GFEI project – initiated in 2009 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – aims at helping countries to develop policies for the economy and encouraging the efficient use of fuel.