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To Combat Deadly Air Pollution and Benefit Human Health, Drive Electric Joins UN Environment Programme’s Effort to Accelerate Shift to Electric Mobility in Developing Economies

To Combat Deadly Air Pollution and Benefit Human Health, Drive Electric Joins UN Environment Programme’s Effort to Accelerate Shift to Electric Mobility in Developing Economies

Philanthropic-powered campaign grants US$1 million to Global Electric Mobility Programme to help curb growing emissions from the transportation sector

SAN FRANCISCO – September 7, 2022 – On the third International Day of Clean Air, Drive Electric, a global philanthropic-powered campaign to accelerate the transition to a clean transportation future, announced it has joined the UN Environment Programme’s Global Electric Mobility Programme to reduce the effects of harmful air pollution and increase access to electric transportation in developing economies. Drive Electric has granted $1 million to the UN-led partnership working to accelerate the shift to zero-emissions electric mobility in over 50 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The transportation sector is a significant and growing source of air pollution, which is the greatest environmental threat to human health and causes seven million premature deaths annually. According to the World Health Organization, 99 percent of the global population breathes air that exceeds WHO guideline limits. People in LMICs, especially women and children, suffer from the highest exposure.  

“The devastation created by air pollution is far-reaching, but there are many opportunities to work together to improve the quality of the air we share,” said Rob de Jong – Head of Sustainable Mobility Unit at UNEP. “By paving the way for low- and middle-income countries to shift to electric mobility, our program is tackling rising emissions in the transport sector, protecting the climate, and making it easier for people to breathe. We welcome Drive Electric in this collective work to support countries in creating a cleaner environment for their citizens.”

Drive Electric’s grant will support the development of a clear strategy and roadmap to accelerate the shift to zero emissions mobility in LMICs and encompasses three priority areas for action. Distributed over three years, the first component of the grant funds the development of a landmark report that examines how LMICs can join the global shift to zero-emission vehicles. The second component continues Drive Electric’s previous support to UNEP to address used vehicle imports. The project bolsters local efforts to reduce imports of high-polluting used vehicles and increase the importation of used EVs in African subregions and countries through developing and implementing minimum used vehicle standards. UNEP is expanding this work globally by taking best practices from Africa and launching similar campaigns in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia. 

The Drive Electric grant will also address the lack of financing for the electrification of transportation in LMICs. This includes expanding technical assistance offerings for freight electrification and supplementing resources from UNEP and partners to set up Regional Support and Investment Platforms in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, Central Europe, the Middle East, and West Asia. This work helps build out a matchmaking service between bankable projects and sources of multilateral financing. 

“Every community deserves the massive benefits to health, climate, and the economy that come with a clean transportation future,” said Drive Electric Campaign Director Rebecca Fisher. “By supporting the Global Electric Mobility Programme and its efforts to create clear roadmaps and strategies for electrification in developing economies, Drive Electric can help boost clean mobility in countries where over 90 percent of future vehicle growth is expected.”

The Global Electric Mobility Programme was launched in 2019 together with leading international organizations and in collaboration with partners from the private sector, finance, and academia to support the shift to electric mobility in low and middle-income countries worldwide. In line with the UN Environment Assembly’s Sustainable Mobility Resolution and the Paris Agreement, the program supports countries as they develop national electric mobility roadmaps and targets, policy frameworks, business models, and financing schemes to transition their transportation sectors to zero-emission vehicles, including electric buses, cars, trucks, and two- and three-wheelers.


About the Drive Electric Campaign

Powered by philanthropy, the Drive Electric Campaign is a growing global coalition of more than 100 partners from climate foundations, research institutions and civil society organizations that is accelerating 100% clean, zero emission electric road vehicles of all kinds, from two- and three- wheelers to cars, buses, and trucks. Drive Electric partners work in over 65 countries to support smart government policies, business engagement, and people-powered coalitions to achieve a clean transportation future. Learn more at

About the United Nations Environment Programme

UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.


Media Contacts:

Drive Electric Campaign: Jennifer Rigney, 

UNEP: Keishamaza Rukikaire,


Published September 7, 2022

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