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Battling deadly Air Pollution on World Environment Day
5 June 2015, Al Jazeera

Air pollution is the world's biggest environmental problem and New Delhi has the highest levels of all cities around the globe, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). India has the four most polluted cities in the world, WHO said in a report, including 13 of the 25 most-polluted cities in the world (with New Delhi taking the top spot). However, AB Akolkar, secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board of India, disputed the research. "Delhi is not the dirtiest ... certainly it is not that dangerous as projected," Akolkar said.

Ashish Jain, a New Delhi resident and director of the Indian Pollution Control Association, agreed with the WHO findings. "I am suffering from allergic asthma due to dust and temperature. We cannot stand five minutes at the traffic signal… You can feel itchiness in your eyes if you open the window of your car," Ashish said. For every 100,000 people, 155 die in India of chronic respiratory disease, the highest rate in the world. A separate study concluded that air pollution has reduced India's life expectancy by 3.2 years. Ashish criticized the Indian government's environmental pollution efforts, saying while there are policies in place, implementation and enforcement remain problematic. He also blamed ordinary citizens for ignoring the problem. "Everybody is a culprit, even me because I am not reducing my demands," Ashish said. "We are not using public transport as much as we should ... everybody just talks, but nobody is taking responsibility... We are playing a blame game ... Every citizen should take this responsibility seriously". Ashish said even small things such as car-pooling and avoiding diesel vehicles can help.

As the UN marked World Environment Day on 5 June 2015 with the overarching theme of "Seven billion dreams. One planet. Consume with care.”, WHO highlighted the problem of deadly air pollution and the need to tackle it to save lives. About eight million people die each year globally because of poor air quality - a figure that continues to rise. UNEP is working closely with the Indian government to promote sustainable mobility, by implementing a project on ‘Promoting Low Carbon Transport’. “This will not only mitigate climate change through low carbon solutions, but also help to reduce climate risks through building adaptation capacity," said UNEP's Naysán Sahba, adding it could become an example for other developing countries.

Smart and Low Carbon Urban Mobility in India
8 December 2014, Lima, Peru

A side event on ‘Smart and Low Carbon Urban Mobility in India’ took place on 8 December 2014, during the 20th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20). The venue for COP 20 was Lima, Peru, and the meeting ran from 1-12 December 2014. The side event on low carbon urban mobility was organized as part of the ‘Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India’ project, with the aim of showcasing the Revised Toolkit for Comprehensive Mobility Planning (CMP) developed within the project under the guidance of the Ministry of Urban Development (the purpose of the toolkit is to provide direction for shaping a low carbon mobility transition in India); sharing experiences of the development of Low-carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMPs) in the cities of Vishakhapatnam, Rajkot and Udaipur; and launching the latest publications produced within the project. During the side event, key presentations that included one on the Revised CMP Toolkit and another on Peru’s Sustainable Urban Transport NAMA were delivered, while publications that were launched comprised of:

  1. Electric Vehicle Scenarios and Roadmap for India ;
  2. Case Study of Metro Rails in Indian Cities ; and
  3. Second-Generation Biofuel Potential in India: Sustainability and Cost Considerations

The event agenda can be viewed here.

Low Carbon Transport Event during WUF7
9 April 2014, Medellín, Columbia

A LCT event organized by the ‘Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India’ project partners took place on 9 April 2014 in Medellín, Columbia, during the World Urban Forum (WUF7). The project is assisting cities to develop low carbon transport systems that are sustainable and inclusive, by building the capacity of consultants and stakeholders at the city level.

A Roundtable on Comprehensive Mobility Plans (CMPs): Sustainable Mobility with lower Carbon Emissions
4 December 2013, New Delhi, India

UNEP is collaborating with the Institute of Urban Transport (IUT) to revise the existing Comprehensive Mobility Plans (CMP) toolkit. The session will provide an introduction to the revised CMP toolkit and implementation experiences from the three cities namely, Visakhapatnam, Rajkot and Udaipur, that are participating in the project by developing Low Carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMPs).

Discussions will focus on the following issues:

• Land use scenario modeling in CMP and implications for the master plan;
• Air quality and CO2 emissions;
• Inclusive transport for all socio economic groups and genders; and
• Data requirements.

Expert Workshop to finalize the Methodology for Development of Comprehensive Mobility Plans (CMPs) for Cities
17-18 October 2013, New Delhi, India

An expert workshop to revise the methodology for development of Comprehensive Mobility Plans (CMPs) for cities took place on 17-18 October 2013, in New Delhi, India. The two day workshop was organised jointly by the Institute of Urban Transport (IUT) and UNEP Risoe Centre (URC). IUT has been mandated by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) to undertake a revision of the existing toolkit for Comprehensive Mobility Plans (CMPs), whereas URC and project partners in India are in the process of finalizing the toolkit for Low-Carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMPs), as a part of the UNEP project on "Promoting Low Carbon Transport (LCT) in India”.

The revision is being undertaken based on review of CMP exercises in Indian cities, and the experiences of LCT in India project participants in preparation of LCMPs in the cities of Vishakhapatnam, Rajkot and Udaipur. The workshop featured detailed presentations from lead authors developing the methodology, followed by feedback and inputs provided by co-authors and external transport experts during the first day. This was then be followed by a writing retreat for the authors during the second day, where they incorporated comments and inputs generated from day one discussions.

Experience Sharing on Development of Low-carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMPs) for Indian Cities
22-23 August 2013, Udaipur, India

The development of Low-carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMPs) for Visakhapatnam, Rajkot and Udaipur is now near completion. A stakeholder’s workshop to share experiences and disseminate results was organized on 22-23 August 2013, in Udaipur, India.

Low-carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMPs) Training on Modeling Air Pollution and Health Impacts
29-30 March 2013, New Delhi, India

A training on modeling air pollution and health impacts from the transport sector took place on 29-30 March 2013, in New Delhi, India. The modeling of air quality has been done using the SIM AIR Model platform . The model has been set up for the three Indian cities of Vishakhapatnam, Rajkot and Udaipur, to assist consultants working towards developing Low-carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMPs) in these cities in understanding the implication of transport emissions on local air quality and health. During the training, the consultants working in the three cities were introduced to the SIM Air model, which can be used to account for local pollutants and CO2, and for analysing future scenarios. The SIM AIR model allows for the establishment of the connection between emissions from vehicles and air concentrations, which can be further used to assess impacts on health, and therefore enable consultants to estimate indicators on environment and health. The training also involved handover of models for the three cities to consultants who will use them for their scenario work, and covered the following topics:

  1. Emission inventory for the cities,
  2. Modelling emissions to pollutant concentrations,
  3. Estimating health impacts, and
  4. Analysing Scenarios – Baseline and Alternative Scenarios for Low-carbon mobility.

A Roundtable on Low-carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMP): Sustainable Mobility with lower Carbon Emissions
7 December 2012, New Delhi, India

The Roundtable brought together experts on LCMP, consultants developing
LCMP in cities, transport planners and policy makers, and they discussed approaches and strategies for achieving ‘Sustainable Mobility with lower Carbon Emissions’.

Udaipur joins Rajkot and Vishakhapatnam in the development of LCMPs
22 August 2012, Udaipur, India

The city of Udaipur has joined Rajkot and Vishakhapatnam in the Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India project, and will soon begin developing a Low Carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plan (LCMP).

Developing Policies and Strategies for Low Carbon Transport in India
24 August 2012, New Delhi, India

As part of the UNEP project on ‘Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India´, a detailed study of different options that can help in achieving national socio economic objectives, and also contribute to India´s efforts in achieving global climate change targets is being carried out using an Integrated Modeling framework. Preliminary results from this study were presented during a workshop to obtain stakeholders´ inputs.

Three-Day Training Session on Developing Low Carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans
11-13 April, 2012, New Delhi, India

Low Carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMPs) were the focus of a capacity building training session that took place at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, from 11-13 April, 2012. Generating LCMPs is a process that involves several steps, and follows a methodology developed by project partners at a previous workshop.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Cities Participating in the Project
February 2012

One of the key components of the project is the design of Comprehensive Low-Carbon Mobility Plans (LCMP) for up to four major cities across India. The process of developing a LCMP involves a step-by-step approach. So far, three cities, namely Visakhapatnam, Rajkot and Ludhiana have expressed interest in developing LCMPs.

Low Carbon Transport in India - Stakeholders' Consultation Workshop,
18-20 October 2011, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India.

A three day workshop to share preliminary results from the project with key stakeholders and beneficiaries took place on 18-20 October 2011 at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, India. The workshop generated discussions and provided concrete recommendations that will help the project team in finalizing the outputs. The workshop also helped to fast track the next phase of the project, that will involve testing of methodologies and toolkits produced at both national and city level and integration of these outputs with the existing transport policies in India.

Macro and City Level Indicators for a Sustainable Transportation System in India

The development of a set of sustainability indicators is one of the key activities of the project "Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India. The set of indicators will serve as a tool to measure the sustainability of transport systems based on the long-term economic, social and environment impacts of transport decisions made at national and city level. It is important that indicators developed for India best reflect local perceptions of sustainability.

India steers full speed towards low carbon transport,
New Delhi, 12 November 2010

Drive Supported by 2.49 Million Euros German Funding & UNEP Technical Assistance

New Delhi, 12 November 2010 - India has embarked on a new pathway towards developing a low-carbon transport system, days before the convening of the UN climate change convention in Cancun.

Launched in New Delhi, Thursday, a new 2.49 million Euros three-year project - funded by the German International Climate Initiative and supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) - will support the Indian Government's efforts to align transport growth with the country's climate change agenda and national development plan.

Project Inception Workshop -“Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India"
New Delhi, India on 12th November 2010

The project's official launch was held on 12 November 2010 at the LaLit Hotel in New Delhi, India. The event was graced by the Honorable Minister of Environment and Forests of India, Shri Jairam Ramesh. About 50 participants ranging from policy makers, industry, members from civil society and academic community attended this half-day workshop.

Related News

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) nearly Quadruples over Ten Years, as Cities discover Benefits and Cost Effectiveness of BRT
17 November 2014, ITDP

Bus rapid transit has grown by 383% in the last ten years, with hundreds of systems in dozens of countries qualifying as true BRT, according to new data released by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), and endorsed by Rockefeller Foundation, Barr Foundation, ClimateWorks Foundation, GIZ, ICCT, UNEP, and UN Habitat. While costs vary across nations, BRT capital costs are generally less than 10% of the cost of metro, and 30-60% of the cost of light rail. BRT can also be implemented much more quickly that rail-based transit, allowing systems to be created and expanded quickly to meet ever growing needs. To more clearly define what is true BRT, in 2012, ITDP released The BRT Standard, an evaluation tool based on international best practice, which functions as both a scoring system and a planning tool, and provides a framework for system designers, decision makers, and the transport community to identify and implement top-quality BRT systems.


Electric Vehicle Scenarios for India
27-29 January 2014, Cape Town, South Africa

The Development and Mitigation Forum was hosted in Cape Town from 27-29 January, 2014. The forum is part of a series of collaborative events organized by Southern research institutions to stimulate conversation around global and national climate governance of development and climate change, both in the context of local planning and in the lead up to negotiations for the 2015 UNFCCC agreement. During the forum, a representative from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, Professor P.R. Shukla, delivered a presentation related to the ‘Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India’ project. The presentation focused on ‘Electric Vehicle Scenarios for India’, and was made on the first day, as part of experience sharing discussions on development and mitigation actions in different countries. Prof. Shukla spoke on the Indian perspective by highlighting the National Low Carbon Transport Modeling Assessment, Passenger Transport Demand at macro level, Sustainable Low Carbon Transport and Electric Vehicle Scenarios, and overall conclusions in relation to the project.

Ahmedabad’s BRT System: A Sustainable Urban Transport Panacea?
30 November 2013, Economics and Political Weekly (EPW)

The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission and the National Urban Transport Policy have given a boost to bus rapid transit systems in many Indian cities, and Ahmedabad's Janmarg is the largest such network now in operation. This paper shows that while catering to latent transport demand, Janmarg has not promoted inclusivity or encouraged a shift away from private motorised transport. It has also given short shrift to non-motorised transport systems, which are important for inclusivity and for reducing the city's carbon footprint. The study raises the pertinent question of whether public transport ought to be viewed as a technological fix or as part of a wider solution of urban or social issues. This research is part of the “Promoting Low-Carbon Transport in India” project and is from a larger report titled “Sustainability and Social Accessibility of Bus Rapid Transit in India”. The paper expresses the authors’ views and not of their institution.

LCT in India Presentations during COP 19
11-22 November 2013, Warsaw, Poland

The nineteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) was held from 11 to 22 November 2013, in Warsaw, Poland. A representative from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, Professor P.R. Shukla, delivered presentations related to the ‘Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India’ project, during the conference. The first presentation titled ‘Sustainable Low Carbon Pathway for India – focus on Sustainable Transport’ was delivered during a side event organised by the National Institute of Environment Studies (NIES), Japan, which took place on Wednesday 13 November 2013, at the Japan Pavilion. The theme of the event was on ‘Pathways towards Low Carbon Societies in Asia by 2050’. The second presentation titled ‘Sustainable Low Carbon Transport Pathway for India’ was delivered during a side event organised by NIES, Japan, and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), which took place on Friday 15 November 2013. The theme of the event was on, ‘Roadmap and Actions towards Low Carbon Societies in Malaysia and throughout Asia’. The third presentation titled ‘Mitigation Potential towards achieving Global 2oC Stabilization Target - Assessment for India’, was delivered during a side event organised by Low Carbon Asia Research Network (LoCARNet), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and NIES, Japan, which took place on Friday 15 November 2013, at the Japan Pavilion. The theme of the event was on ‘GHG Emissions Reduction Potential in Asia to realise the 2oC Target’.

Co-benefits and Risk Assessment for Low Carbon Transport in India
28-30 October 2013, Tsukuba, Japan

The 6th Annual Meeting of the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium (IAMC) took place on 28-30 October 2013, in Tsukuba, Japan. Discussions during the meeting focused on four cross cutting sessions that included: modeling impacts and adaptation in integrated assessment; utilising integrated assessment models to inform near-term international policy discussions; understanding mitigation, adaptation, and impacts through a multi-objective lens; and modeling energy demand in integrated assessment. During the meeting, a representative from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, Professor P.R. Shukla, delivered a presentation for the ‘Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India’ project that focused on co-benefits and risk assessment.

Biofuel Potential and Scenarios in India
22-27 September 2013, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The 8th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems – (SDEWES) was held in Dubrovnik, Croatia on 22-27 September 2013. The conference was dedicated to the improvement and dissemination of knowledge on methods, policies and technologies for increasing the sustainability of development, by de-coupling growth from natural resources and replacing them with knowledge based economy. During the conference, UNEP Risoe Centre delivered presentations related to the ‘Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India’ project that touched on ‘Biofuel Scenarios for India’ , and ‘Second Generation Biofuel Potential in India: Sustainability and Cost Considerations’.

Smart Cities
10-12 September 2013, Lyngby, Denmark

The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) hosted a three day conference dabbed ‘DTU International Energy Conference 2013 ’, in which latest research findings on sustainable energy technologies and systems were presented by DTU researchers and international renowned energy experts. The conference was organized to include high level plenary sessions in which keynote presentations on global trends for development of technologies, systems and economy were delivered; and parallel sessions that discussed most recent developments in energy technologies and systems. Of key interest to the ‘Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India’ project was the parallel session on ‘Smart Cities’, in which a presentation on the ‘Future of Low Carbon Transport in the three Indian Cities’ participating in the project was delivered by UNEP Risoe Centre.

Low Carbon Mobility for Udaipur
23 August 2013, Udaipur, India

Udaipur faces multiple transport challenges, including increasing vehicular pollution linked to soaring CO2 emissions, which needs to be controlled. This and other discussions were the focus of a two day workshop involving experts from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, and CEPT University, Ahmedabad. The workshop was organised by the Chairman of the Urban Improvement Trust (UIT) Mr. R.K. Khurana, and included a presentation delivered by a representative of the organisation Mr. R.P. Sharma, on the current situation in Udaipur. Mr. Sharma informed participants that Udaipur has been selected as one of three cities participating in the ‘Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India’ project, and in which a Low Carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plan (LCMP) will be developed for implementation. A lot of emphasis was placed on the discussions for strengthening of public and para-transit systems, with Mr. Ashutosh Pednekar delivering a presentation on the Alwar Vahini scheme, which has transformed the para-transit system in the city of Alwar. Discussions also centered around the viability of public transport systems and highlighted issues such as affordability for majority of the population. Other suggestions made by participants included the introduction of CNG vehicles, greening of the city, promotion of cycling and car free days etc.

Sustainable Low Carbon Transport in India
16 March 2013, Marianne de Nazareth

UNEP Transport Unit, UNEP Risø Centre and partners in India have been working together since 2010, on a project to support a low carbon transport pathway in India. The project is funded under the International Climate Initiative of the German Government, and is designed in line with India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). The project’s twin goals are to create an enabling policy environment at the national level for building a sustainable transport system, and to increase the cities’ capacity to improve mobility while lowering CO2 emissions. A key outcome of the project is a detailed case study on the Delhi-Mumbai Dedicated Rail Freight Corridor.

• Travellers on an Eco-friendly Road
31 March 2013, Ahmedabad, India

The bus rapid transit (BRT) system is often held as an affordable and sustainable public transport option in rapidly urbanising cities of capital-deficit developing countries like India. As investments in transport infrastructure rise in Indian cities, it is pertinent to assess who gains and who loses as a result of BRT. The Ahmedabad BRT is the only successful and largest system in the country, with 45 km of rapid transit network. The service is becoming increasingly popular amongst residents, but there is much scope for improvement in planning, designing and implementing of the system. To develop a nuanced understanding of the system in Ahmedabad, a survey of 1,040 BRT users in the city was conducted to assess accessibility and modal shift from private vehicles to public transport.

• Has BRTS helped Ahmedabad?
8 October 2012, Ahmedabad, India

The 58% rise in the number of vehicles on Ahmedabad’s roads since introduction of Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in 2009 is proof enough of the fact that the public transport system has failed to attract the rich. According to the findings of a study done by researchers at Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University titled, ‘Low-Carbon Mobility in India and the Challenges of Social Inclusion: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Case Studies in India’, the BRTS has also failed to attract the poor.

• India to launch $40bn JnNURM II
July 2012, The Indian Express

India will launch the USD 40 billion second phase of its urban renewal mission in about four months, Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath told delegates attending the World Cities Summit. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) phase II would be carried out over the next five years as India works to cover its infrastructure deficit throughout the country and manage massive urbanisation programmes.


In Focus

Special Issue: Energy Policies for Low Carbon Sustainable Transport in Asia

Key Project Interventions