In support of the broader goal of crafting pioneering financing mechanisms that could facilitate the transition towards a low-carbon transport sector in the Lancang-Mekong (LM) countries, Mekong Institute (MI), in collaboration with the Center for International Knowledge on Development (CIKD), successfully hosted the “Consultation Workshop on Innovative Financing for the Decarbonization of the Transport Sector" on June 27 to 28, 2023.
The event brought together 35 experts from the transport and financial sectors from the six LM countries to share their experiences and insights. The workshop enabled these experts to explore challenges and opportunities for financing low-carbon transport initiatives and identify the capacity gaps of key stakeholders in the LM region. The outcomes of the workshop will serve as a ready reference for a comprehensive capacity-building program tailored to support the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and address the future needs of the LMC.
Vice President of CIKD, Dr. Taidong Zhou, shed light on the progression of the GDI, including its conceptualization and implementation mechanisms during his opening remarks and keynote speech. He highlighted the practical actions of the GDI in promoting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, with emphasis on initiatives related to low-carbon transport. Furthermore, Dr. Zhou offered policy advice on the forthcoming steps of the GDI in advancing the 2030 Agenda.
To enrich the discussion and provide a broader perspective, MI invited two distinguished speakers from the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Research Institute of Highway under the Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China (P. R. China). These experts shared findings on global trends and statistical data concerning financial resources allocated to transport investment and decarbonization efforts. The participants also gained insights from best practices and case studies from P. R. China, showcasing their successful transitioning pathway towards green travel and electric public transport.
Ms. Tina Wang, Program Manager of Sustainable Energy and Environment at MI, presented the key takeaways and consolidated the capacity needs expressed by the participants. The lack of accessible channels and the unclear guidelines for accessing international climate funds are among the major challenges, which were highlighted during the workshop and considered needing the utmost attention and intervention from the GDI and other related initiatives.
The urgent call for increased communication platforms among stakeholders, government officers, researchers, and financial agencies was also underscored.
In addition to financial challenges, there was a pressing need for capacity-building programs and institutional development to raise awareness about sustainable transport and disseminate best practices.
Overall, the consultation workshop fueled the discussions and much-needed progress toward achieving the vision of sustainable, low-carbon transport in the Lancang-Mekong Region.
The workshop is the first of a series of three consultation workshops under the "Global Development Initiative Leverages Sustainable Development in the Lancang-Mekong Region" funded by the P. R. China. The said project spearheads various initiatives to bolster sustainable development in the region and support the goals of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC).
 The GDI was introduced as a pathway to accelerate the progress of implementation for stronger, greener, more balanced global development, and foster a global community of development. One of the GDI’s key focus areas is financing sustainable development where it aims to provide financing support and effectively bridge the development financing gap of developing countries.