The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal (Nepal) is a developing country, located in South Asia. Within the area of 147,181km2 an estimated population of 27 million live in Nepal. Annual population growth in the country was 1.1% in 2016 (World Bank, 2018), while average annual urban population growth is 3.15% (UNCRD, 2015). Kathmandu is the country’s capital and the largest city (population of 1 million), followed by Pokhara, Lalitpur, Bharatpur and Birgunj metropolitan cities (population above 200,000). Agriculture, services (remittance), industry and tourism are the country’s main economic activity. Nepal’s GDP per capita is 729.1 US$ (2016) (World Bank, 2018a). It is expected to grow at 3.5% in 2018 and 4.1% in 2019. Nepal GDP growth is expected by4.9% in 2018 and 5.5% in 2019. Inflation rate in Nepal is forecasted at 5.5% in 2018, the second highest in South Asia after Bangladesh (ADB, 2018).
Nepal’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)
Nepal is one of the least contributors to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As of 2010, Nepal’s own emissions bring about less than 0.1% of global emissions. With the current policies, Nepal’s GHG emissions are expected to increase to between 50–53 MtCO2e by 2030 (an increase of 55–66% compared to 2010 levels). Even with this increase, the country’s per capita emissions would only grow from 1.2 tCO2e/cap as of 2010 to 1.5–1.6 tCO2e/cap by 2030, still far below the 2012 world average of 7.6 tCO2e/cap. But Nepal is highly vulnerable to climate change which has a negative impact on its people, property and natural resources (Government of Nepal, 2016). Nepal’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) was submitted in October 2016. In its Paris agreement targets, it has plans to build resilience to climate change impacts as well as to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission with an intent to move to a low carbon economic development pathway - but has not outlined a clear overall GHG emission reduction target or commitment (Climate Action Tracker, 2017).
In order to implement mitigation and adaptation plans and actions, it is necessary to understand main political, institutional players at various levels. Nepal’s form of governance is multi-party, competitive and federal democratic parliamentary system based on plurality (art. 74) (Constituent Assembly Secretariat, 2015). Nepal has seven main political parties. Based on the outcome of legislative election 2017, the Left Alliance secured an overwhelming majority in both the federal and bicameral legislature (the House of Representative and National Assembly) and the provincial assemblies (Bhattarai, 2017), as of April 2018. The Left Alliance formed the present government of Nepal and elected the Prime Minister who is the real executive head of the government. The tenure of such government is maximum 5 years. Efforts are currently underway to unify the ruling Left Alliance by merging the CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Center (Bhattarai, 2018). The common agenda of all the political parties is to advance economic prosperity and development (Bhattarai, 2017a) but a political party dedicated to environment protection (e.g. Green political party in Germany) does not exist in Nepal yet. Nepal’s new Constitution provides a federal form of governance with three levels – national, provincial and local, as declared in the new constitution passed in 2015. With the election at these three phases at the end of 2017, Nepal has successfully decentralised the power to local government units in terms of decision making and implementation of projects. As of April 2018, Nepal has 7 provinces, 77 districts and 753 local units (Khalid & Chughtai, 2017).
Nepal’s economic growth, social transformation and rapid urbanisation has increased vehicle ownership and usage – higher trend in urban areas. Road transport dominates transport infrastructure in Nepal (cars, bus, motorcycle and marginal non-motorised transport). Urban rail system and BRT are not available yet but feasibility study is undergoing. Within 2008-2013, national average annual growth rate of motorcycle and 4-wheel light vehicles (car, jeep and van) was 19.5% and 8.4% respectively. One of the direct impacts of increasing vehicle population is the rapid increase in motor fuel (diesel and petrol). Nepal’s per capita CO2 emissions from fuel consumption is low (133kg) against the world average (4,504kg) in 2011, but the growth rate of emissions is high (UNCRD, 2015). The sustainable transport in Nepal (mainly in urban areas) include improve infrastructure and promote public transportation and NMT, and create a suitable environment for electric vehicles. As mentioned in Nepal’s NDC, the government of Nepal has endorsed some policies aimed to promote electric vehicles (EVs) and has Environment-Friendly Vehicle and Transport Policy (2014). Some electric cars and scooters have been introduced in cities. Electrically powered 3 wheeler e-Tuk-Tuk/e-rickshaw (Safa Tempo) is a successful example of public EV in Nepal (e.g. in Kathmandu and in southern part of Nepal), in operation since 1996. It has 6-8 seating capacity serving people for shorter distance route. The government support towards EV initiative include reduced custom duty and provision of higher auto loan. Some of the key stakeholders related to transport sector in Nepal are:
• Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Trans- port, Department of Transport Management (DoTM) • Electric Vehicles Association (EVAN)
• Public and private transport companies
• Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC)
Kathmandu is the country’s capital and the largest city (population of 1 million), followed by Pokhara, Lalitpur, Bharatpur and Birgunj metropolitan cities (population above 200,000). The Kathmandu valley includes 3 cities – Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur with total area of 570 sq. km. The population of the valley is 2.5 million with annual growth rate of 4.63% (3.5 million unofficial). This represents 9.32% of entire population of country. Some of the initiatives on energy generation/conservation, sustainable transport and waste management in the valley are discussed below.
Road transport dominates transport infrastructure in Nepal (cars, bus, motorcycle and marginal non-motorised transport). In the Kathmandu Valley, the number of vehicles registered tremendously rose—an increase of over 12-fold from 45,871 in 1990/1991 to 570,145 in 2010/2011. The highest number of vehicles type in the valley was motorised two-wheelers. Air pollution was the second leading cause of death in one of the main hospitals of the Kathmandu Valley in 2011. To reduce air pollution in the Kathmandu Valley, these 3 measures are urgently required: improving vehicle speed, promoting public transportation, and introducing electric vehicles that could reduce public transportation energy demand by more than 60% (Shrestha, Shrestha, & Shrestha, 2017). Some electric cars and scooters have been introduced in cities. Electrically powered 3 wheeler e-Tuk-Tuk/e-rickshaw (Safa Tempo) is a successful example of public EV in Nepal (e.g. in Kathmandu and in southern part of Nepal), in operation since 1996. Currently, 1,200 e-rickshaws (Safa Tempos) run in Kathmandu (Shahi, 2017). Less than 100 electric cars are in the valley, mainly imported form India, China and South Korea (which is negligible compared to fossil-fueled cars). A few small electric cars are produced in Nepal by Hulas Motor Company as an experiment. Charging infrastructure is in very nascent state in Kathmandu (also in Nepal). Nepal Electrical Authority opened a demo charging station at its office in order to boost public interest in EVs. E-scooters are a solution to replace the growing and highly used fossil fueled scooters in the valley. Public transportation services, currently run by the private sector through individual operators, are still not adequate in the city. The addition of e-bus can improve accessibility and environment.
In the Kathmandu Valley, air pollution was the second leading cause of death in one of the main hospitals of the Kathmandu Valley in 2011. To reduce air pollution in the Kathmandu Valley, these 3 measures are urgently required: improving vehicle speed, promoting public transportation, and introducing electric vehicles that could reduce public transportation energy demand by more than 60% (Shrestha, Shrestha, & Shrestha, 2017).
Electric vehicles initiative in the Kathmandu valley are:
1. 1997-2001, trolley bus was running for 13km in the Kathmandu valley, developed with the assis-tance of the Chinese government but stopped its service is discontinued due to inefficient management, corruption, low revenue collection, and political interference (Shahi, 2017)
2. Since 1996, electrically powered 3 wheeler Tuk-Tuk (Safa Tempo) was in operation. It has 6-8 seating capacity serving people for shorter distance route. Currently, 1,200 Safa Tempos run in Kathmandu (Shahi, 2017). Safa Tempo can be considered a successful e-Tuk Tuk in Kathmandu which can passes through narrow streets of Kathmandu and stops at shorter distances.
3. Less than 100 electric cars are in the valley, mainly imported from India, China and South Korea (which is negligible compared to fossil fueled cars). E-scooters are a solution to replace the growing and highly used fossil fueled scooters
Currently e-Rickshaws are running in southern part of Nepal as a good public vehicle for short distances. On the process of procurement of 125EVs including buses, rickshaws and taxis to be introduced in Southern Nepal (Lumbini), with the support from ADB (project from Asian Clean Energy Fund (ACEF) as part of the South Asia Tourism Infrastructure Development Project (SATIDP). They are planned to be operated at same the time when Gautam Buddha International Airport will be completed, which is under construction (Ghimire, 2016).