Could the U.S. significantly reduce carbon emissions by training public transit and truck drivers to “Ecodrive?” If a program in smog-filled Jakarta is any indication, educating commercial drivers about efficient driving habits and proper vehicle maintenance can measurably reduce carbon emissions.
Kevin Tuerff of EnviroMedia Social Marketing met representatives of the Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bali on December 5. The foundation’s Ecodriving program not only trains public transit and commercial drivers to change their driving behavior but also provides a venue for participating companies to sell carbon credits generated from fuel reductions.
“Some believe you can’t change people’s behavior to reduce pollution, but over 10 years and 5,000 buses later, we’ve proven you can,” said Waty Suhadi of the Swiss Foundation. “Because of the high fuel subsidy in Indonesia, private and public transit companies are realizing the environment and cost benefits of Ecodriving.”
The program includes a two-day training for drivers on stop-start driving, coasting and breaking. Drivers are given incentives such as new uniforms, better waiting lounges and gift certificates for improvements in their vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
The Swiss foundation funds this Jakarta effort, but the NGO hopes for more donations to expand across Indonesia.