The Global Fuel Economy Initiative GFEI

Context of Transport Climate Action

The Global Fuel Economy Initiative is a partnership of the International Energy Agency (IEA), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Transport Forum of the OECD (ITF), International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), Institute for Transportation Studies at UC Davis, and the FIA Foundation, which works to secure real improvements in fuel economy, and the maximum deployment of existing fuel economy technologies in vehicles across the world. The Initiative promotes these objectives through shared analysis, advocacy, and through the Cleaner, More Efficient Vehicles Tool for in-country policy support.

The Global Fuel Economy Initiative exists to promote debate and discussion around the issue of vehicle fuel economy. To improve global understanding of fuel economy. To use data and modeling to assist individual countries in establishing a policy program to address fuel economy, which is suitable to their circumstances.


This initiative aims to double the efficiency of the global vehicles fleet by 2050 – through doubling the efficiency to all newly produced cars by 2030 (compared to 2005 levels). Countries commit to develop or reinforce, where appropriate, national fuel economy policies that will contribute to achieving the target.

To mark COP21, GFEI is announcing ambitious action to improve fuel economy globally – the ‘100 for 50 by 50’ campaign. Using the vital political momentum of the SDG, G20 and COP processes to get 100 countries to commit to the GFEI goal of an average 50% improvement in the fuel economy of all vehicles by 2050. GFEI research shows that this is possible using existing cost-effective technologies.

Countries committing to this are expressing:

  • Global commitment – to publically support the GFEI’s target to double fuel economy of the global passenger vehicle fleet by 2050, and for new passenger vehicles by 2030.
  • Domestic commitment to develop and adopt national policies to improve fuel economy for new passenger vehicles, consistent with GFEI targets, recognising that each country starts from its own baseline.
  • Resources and engagement commitment to actively contribute to the efforts of the GFEI, which could include:
    • Sending representatives to the annual GFEI training summit
    • Dedicating staff time to develop fuel economy database and policies, in collaboration with GFEI partner organisations
    • Engaging in regional initiatives on fuel economy as appropriate, and provide technical or financial support to these efforts as available

The GFEI global platform has been made possible from various funding sources (European Commission, FIA Foundation and UNEP) but also has benefitted from climate finance from the Global Environment Facility.


This initiative aims to achieve three main goals:

  1. 30% reduction in l/100 km by 2020 in all new cars in OECD countries;
  2. 50% reduction in l/100 km by 2030 in all new cars globally;
  3. 50% reduction in l/100 km by 2050 in all cars globally (the 50/50-goal).

To reach these reductions a process is set up in which the FIA Foundation is working together with the GFEI partners in different countries to help them to frame their policies.

The GFEI uses a three-pronged approach to achieve the stated targets:


  • Support awareness initiatives to provide consumers and decision makers with information on options.


  • Develop improved data and analysis of the current situation on fuel economy around the world.

Policy support

  • Work with governments and stakeholders to better understand the potential for fuel economy improvements and to develop sound policies to encourage fuel economy improvement for vehicles produced and/or sold in their countries.

Examples include Mauritius, an island nation coping with many challenges, many of which are being faced by other developing countries. Their vehicle fleet has almost doubled in 10 year, which means that more foreign exchange is used for importing oil products and this is also causing more air pollution that also increases health costs and loss of productivity. With the support of the GFEI cleaner fuels have been introduced (unleaded and low sulphur – down from 2500 ppm to 50 ppm); and a carbon tax feebate/rebate system. More information can be found on the GFEI example of Mauritius in the database.

Another example is about Kenya[1]. The Government of Kenya, with technical support from the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI), has announced plans to introduce a new feebate and labelling scheme to promote imports of fuel-efficient vehicles. The plans were launched in Nairobi on 9 April 2015. The Kenyan government committed to support the importation of fuel efficient vehicles through fiscal and other strategies such as the adoption of a feebate system and mandatory vehicle labelling. Proposed guidelines and draft standards on these policies are already under development by the University of Nairobi and will be presented to government in the summer of 2015.

GFEI has also been supporting Thailand, where all manufacturers and importers of light-duty vehicles are mandated to display the Eco- Sticker on windshields to inform consumers about the emissions, safety, and fuel economy rating of new cars from October 2015. The Eco-Sticker includes CO2 rating, fuel economy, as well as vehicle pollutant emissions and will be the basis of revised excise tax rates from 1 January 2016 on. The revised taxation scheme will favour passenger vehicles running on alternative fuels, as well as hybrids and other vehicles with emissions of less than 150 gCO2/km

More information can be found on the GFEI example of Mauritius and Kenya in the 80 days database.



Improving the fuel economy of the global fleet will deliver substantial savings in oil consumption globally, important reductions in CO2 emissions and help increase energy security in the developing world while their transport systems develop.

The GFEI has helped to do country projects that are modest in size but have resulted in policy changes that have resulted in major investment in cleaner and more efficient vehicles. As such modest transport funding has resulted in taxation reforms that are now based on energy efficiency and climate emissions. These are arguably among the most efficient climate interventions – for 200-400K per country we have introduced taxation systems that now result in significant fuel savings and emissions reductions, and will continue to do so.

Potential for scaling up

GFEI is pledging to get 100 countries involved in its capacity-building work by 2016 in order to build momentum and maximize the global impact of fuel economy improvements.

On this moment the GFEI/FIA is already successful to implement CO2 and fuel reducing policies in 25 countries. And discussions started with another 40 countries to implement these policies and they have a goal to expand to 100 countries by 2030.

Examples of countries that joined this initiative are:

– Georgia;

– Mauritius;

– Jamaica;

– Vietnam;

– Egypt;

– Kenya;

– Sri Lanka;

– Costa Rica;

– Algeria;

– Uganda.

Selected references









Global, Adaptation, Passenger, Freight, Policy


Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI): PARTNERS-UNEP, International Energy Agency (IEA), International Transport Forum (ITF), the FIA Foundation, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)


Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director:
“Improving fuel economy has many benefits - air quality, cost savings and climate. Where countries have introduced policies and incentives for cleaner vehicles we find fleets quickly becoming cleaner and more efficient. That is why UNEP is working with partners in the GFEI to support countries to put in place those policies and incentives - our aim is to go from about 30 country projects to date to 100 in the coming year”