Global consortium of governments, industry and investors spearheads innovative investment strategy for zero-emission vehicles

Dubai, 4 December 2023 – Partners within the Collective for Clean Transport Finance will collaborate to accelerate investments in global projects for road transport electrification.


Dubai, 4 December 2023 – Today, at COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Government of the United Kingdom (as the ZEV Transition Council (ZEVTC) co-chair), the Government of the Netherlands, the World Bank, Amazon, DHL Group, State Street, C40, CALSTART and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH confirmed their alignment with the Collective for Clean Transport Finance. Together, they will spearhead lighthouse projects that will help accelerate the global deployment of zero-emission buses, medium and heavy-duty freight, and two- and three-wheeler electrification. Smart Freight Centre is happy to drive this effort together with this group of global leaders.

The Collective for Clean Transport Finance (The Collective) was formed last year at COP27 to address gaps within transport climate finance by facilitating radical collaboration between governments, businesses and financing institutions. The Collective already connects 80+ organizations with the long-term objective of creating a global deal flow to scale investments in clean transport. It is hosted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and is supported by the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, the Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation, Smart Freight Centre, UNEP’s Global Electric Mobility Programme, the World Bank’s Global Facility to Decarbonize Transport and the ZEVTC.

Despite record investments in transport electrification, the proportion of climate finance directed to road transport is insufficient to meet the 1.5°C commitment of the 2015 Paris Agreement – particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Transport decarbonization projects are ramping up to become large-scale, with many low- and middle-income countries investing, for example, in electric buses. However, many sustainable transport and electric mobility projects are still subject to high initial capital investment costs and risks due to slow regulatory environments and inadequate policy frameworks. This often hinders financial institutions’ engagement in the transition at scale. Governments, businesses and financial institutions must join sides to effectively accelerate investments in clean transport.

The Collective was established to address this challenge by activating a global network of governments, financing institutions and companies. Members of the Collective engage in cross-sector dialogues to aggregate individual companies’ demand for zero-emission fleets in alignment with national political ambition for transport decarbonization. As a next step, they will collectively design blended financing strategies, policy frameworks and infrastructure deployment that reflect the optimized risk profile and the scale of the projects.

In a first phase launched today during an event at COP28, stakeholders will align around lighthouse projects like the India e-Bus Grand Challenge, the India e-Freight Accelerator (e-FAST) and the Global Facility to Decarbonize Transport’s Regional Financing Facility for Sub-Saharan Africa – global best practices which provide concrete opportunities for action, while demonstrating innovative financing mechanisms and collaborative approaches.

Since its foundation, the Collective has been highlighted as a key initiative under the Breakthrough Agenda and is listed as one of the transformative initiatives driving the ZEVTC Global ZEV Transition Roadmap to be launched on 5 December at COP28, to help solve the global investment gap.

“The number of countries that have signed the Global MOU for zero-emission buses and trucks is still growing. To scale up zero-emission transportation, effectively mobilizing public and private sector investment stakeholders is key. The Collective for Clean Transport Finance is uniquely positioned to move the transition forward,” commented Vivianne Heijnen, Minister for the Environment, Netherlands.
“The Collective is providing crucial international leadership to embed cross-sectoral collaboration processes vital for scaling much-needed investment in clean transport. Through the Road Transport Breakthrough and the ZEVTC, the UK is proud to be working alongside the Collective to systematically strengthen international support for developing countries and I look forward to this collaboration going from strength to strength as we jointly implement crucial work under the new Global ZEV Transition Roadmap from 2023,” said Ed Webber, Deputy Director of Financing and Sectors Transition, Government of the United Kingdom.
“The World Bank is already prioritizing efficient, low-carbon urban transport that connects people to opportunities and essential services. The Collective for Clean Transport Finance will further help accelerate efforts to finance and scale the decarbonization of transport,” said Guangzhe Chen, the World Bank’s Vice President for Infrastructure.
“There is ground for optimism in the global race to net-zero – but policymakers and investors must be aligned to deliver needed infrastructure and zero-emission vehicles. In supporting this important initiative and its lighthouse projects in crucial vehicle segments of e-buses and e-trucks, we are taking one further step in the right direction,” said Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
"Since 2019, C40 and the ICCT have supported cities in Latin America in the transition towards zero emission buses as part of the Zero Emission Bus Rapid-deployment Accelerator (ZEBRA) Partnership, securing commitments by manufacturers and investors to scale up the technological and financial solutions to decarbonise bus fleets in the region. Although there are many success stories to celebrate, more action is needed to support cities in these efforts, increasing investment in public transportation as one of the most cost-effective actions that we can take to reduce climate emissions, creating green jobs and inclusive opportunities, and improving the livelihoods of everyone in cities.", said Cassie Sutherland, Managing Director for the Climate Solutions and Networks team, C40.
“Smart Freight Centre is happy to drive this effort to align and catalyze investments in clean transport together with this group of global leaders. Cross-sector collaboration is crucial to accelerate action, particularly for commercial vehicle segments and for reducing the emission impacts of global freight transportation,” said Christoph Wolff, CEO, Smart Freight Centre.
Jessica T. Donohue, PhD, Head of Global Investment Insights, Sustainability and Impact at State Street, said, “Getting to net zero by 2050 is undoubtedly an arduous task. But through informed decisions, action from all sectors of the economy and the mobilization of capital – combined with the right investments – it is possible to bring about impactful change. Transition finance is something that all stakeholders can get behind. We know we can’t operate in isolation to drive change at scale and strategic collaboration is needed to build upon the efforts already realized by the CCTF.”
“The TUMI E-Bus Mission is offering technical advice and facilitating mutual exchange for cities in the Global South to prepare for the implementation of e-buses resulting in a greener and more livable future. Bringing together decision-makers, business and financing institutions, as the Collective for Clean Transport Finance does, is key to upscale e-bus adoption,” said Elke Hüttner, head of the Division Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure within GIZ’s global division (GloBe).
“Businesses and governments must cooperate towards de-risking and scaling of green infrastructure projects. That is why we co-founded The Collective for Clean Transport Finance at COP 27 and are proud to see lighthouse projects emerge today that will advance transport climate targets, as well as demonstrate the value of collaborative approaches in finance,” said Uday Khemka, Vice Chairman, The Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation.

For more information, please contact Thomas Deloison, Director, Mobility at WBCSD

About the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a global community of over 225 of the world’s leading businesses driving systems transformation for a better world in which 9+ billion people can live well, within planetary boundaries, by mid-century. Together, we transform the systems we work in to limit the impact of the climate crisis, restore nature and tackle inequality.

We accelerate value chain transformation across key sectors and reshape the financial system to reward sustainable leadership and action through a lower cost of capital. Through the exchange of best practices, improving performance, accessing education, forming partnerships, and shaping the policy agenda, we drive progress in businesses and sharpen the accountability of their performance.

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About the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions

The UN Climate Change High-Level Champions enhance and strengthen the engagement of non-Party stakeholders by collaborating with Parties, to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement. The current Champions are Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin for COP27 and HE Razan Al Mubarak for COP28. Working with the Marrakech Partnership, they build on the legacy of their predecessors to drive a collaborative shift across all of society towards a decarbonized economy so that we can all thrive in a healthy, resilient and net-zero world.

About The Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation

The Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation is an Indian family philanthropy that has been involved with climate change mitigation since the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. The foundation’s key themes include large scale climate finance (including work with pension funds and sovereign wealth funds for 17+ years), India (including work on financing the clean energy and mobility sectors), and work with other philanthropies on novel climate solutions.

About Smart Freight Centre

Smart Freight Centre (SFC) is a globally active non-profit organization for climate action in the freight sector. We are enablers for those who believe in united action to reduce logistics greenhouse gas emissions. Through creating a single, international methodology for tracking freight emissions we drive transparency to enable emission reductions. SFC brings together multinationals, forwarders & carriers, NGOs, and governments in our collaborative initiatives, trainings, and programs. Together, we help solve the business challenges behind reducing freight emissions and impact the industry standards. Our goal is to guide the industry to track and reduce its GHG emissions by 1 billion tonnes by 2030 and reach zero emissions by 2050 or earlier.

Smart Freight Centre is a partner to many existing initiatives, including Global Green Freight Action Plan, CALSTART, SLOCAT, ETP-ALICE, Transport Decarbonization Alliance, Drive Electric Campaign, Climate Group (EV100+), Transport and Environment, International Transport Forum and many more.

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About UNEP Global Electric Mobility Programme

The UNEP’s Global Electric Mobility Programme supports 60 low-and-middle-income countries in transitioning from fossil fuel-based transportation to zero-emissions electric mobility. Developed in collaboration with prominent international organizations and partners from the private sector, finance, and academia, this global initiative aims to help these nations achieve the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement and reduce the increasing levels of air pollution. Operational at the national, regional, and global levels, the program has garnered support from various entities. Altogether, the programme has so far mobilized the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the European Union, the German Climate Initiative, the Climate Clean Air Coalition, the FIA Foundation, Climate Works, Norway, Sweden and other bilateral donors that have contributed more than USD 130 million in grants for its implementation.

About World Bank Global Facility to Decarbonize Transport

The Global Facility to Decarbonize Transport (GFDT) is a multi-donor trust fund, established in 2021, that aims to achieve carbon neutrality in transport by 2050. GFDT’s funding, knowledge and project preparation support will enable developing countries to build safe, modern, inclusive and resilient transport systems that are not emissions-intensive. It is the first and only program that takes a truly global and integrated approach to transport decarbonization. GFDT’s vision is a world where developing countries do not have to choose between development and climate action. With the right investments in high-quality public transport, well-connected cities, non-motorized transport options, and cleaner technologies, achieving development progress and climate targets can be mutually reinforcing. GFDT’s impact will extend beyond decarbonization to benefit people who are disconnected from jobs, essential services, and opportunities, including women and those living in rural areas.