Accelerating action on transport and energy emissions in Central America

The Central American Integration System (SICA) member states have made addressing transport sector emissions a priority, with Ministers of Environment and Ministers of Energy approving an action plan and roadmap for harmonizing regional fuel and vehicle standards and calling for strengthen short-lived climate pollutant (SLCP) actions in these sectors. 

This project aims to accelerate SLCP action in the region’s transport sector by building on existing policy instruments, including: the Alliance for Sustainable Development (ALIDES), the Central American Sustainable Energy Strategy (EESCA) 2030, the Regional Strategy Environmental Framework (ERAM) and the Regional Strategy on Climate Change (ERCC), the Central American Technical Regulations (RTCA), which aims to harmonize the regional sulfur standards, and SICA's Energy Sector Plan for the COVID-19 crisis.   


This project will lay the foundation for action to reduce black carbon emissions from the transport sector. CCAC funding will be used to help countries incorporate transport actions and targets into their updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), develop a regional action plan to implement soot free vehicle technologies, establish a coordination body, working group and proposed regional regulatory framework for low carbon transport, as well as an action plan to harmonize diesel fuel and vehicle emission standards. 

Why we're doing this work

The transport sector, the main source of black carbon emissions in the region, plays a key role in driving climate and air pollution emissions. Expected growth in the region’s transport activities makes mitigation potential. 

Heavy duty vehicles are responsible for a disproportionate amount of fine particle and black carbon pollution, however these emissions can be virtually eliminated through the adoption of clean fuel and vehicle regulations and supporting technologies.   

The CCAC has previously supported SICA member states Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic to develop national fuel and vehicle emissions policies. Extending this work across the Central America region would promote a coordinated and coherent approach to reducing transport emissions, improve both global climate and local health outcomes, and enable the deployment and market uptake of innovation and technology investments in the transport sector. 

What we're doing

To achieve the objectives of this project, the following activities are carried out:  

Supporting regional planning to incorporate SLCP targets, policies, and actions into updated NDCs

  • Calculate the SLCP profile for the transport sector, taking into account “Avoid Shift Improve” scenarios and estimate the benefits of implementing soot-free technologies, such as electric and Euro VI vehicles. 
  • Present a regional action plan to support the adoption of soot-free vehicle technologies. This will be complemented by regional capacity building workshops. 

Accelerate low-carbon transport, focused on electric mobility  

  • Facilitate development of a regional regulatory framework for promoting and enforcing low-carbon transport through renewable energy, charging infrastructure, battery disposal management, and energy efficiency standards. 

Improve regional fuels standards and develop regional vehicle emissions policies 

  • Support the current review process of the Central American Technical Regulations (RTCA), which aims to harmonize regional petroleum derivatives.  
  • Support policy makers to develop more stringent sulphur diesel targets and complementary regional harmonized vehicles emission standards.  

Establish a clean and efficient fuels and vehicle technology market hub and transport help desk for COVID 19 recovery  

  • Support public and private transport stakeholders to address challenges for maintaining sustainable transport strategies post Covid-19.  
  • Enable sharing of best practices and access to manufacturers and suppliers for soot-free buses.  

Who's involved