India steers full speed towards low carbon transport
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.
Boasting the world's second largest population, India's per capita emissions remain below the world average. But population growth in the last two decades has been coupled with a rapid increase of private vehicles and a switch from rail to road transport across the freight and passenger sectors.
According to a 2007 estimate, India's transport sector is responsible for 12.9% of the country's greenhouse gas emissions - impacting air quality, public health, road safety and sustainable urban development.
India's National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) recognizes the need to lower GHG emissions from transport through the adoption of an integrated sustainability approach that encourages the move towards enhanced energy efficiency in transport, higher penetration of biofuels, sustainable urban planning, improved public awareness and participation and the promotion of public transport services.
Endorsed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the project comprises two key interventions: the development of a national action plan for low-carbon transport and the design of low-carbon mobility plans for 4 major cities across India. The cities component will be carried out in close coordination with the Ministry of Urban Development.
Key local partners include the Indian Institute of Management, the Centre of Environmental Planning and Technology University in Ahmedabad, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi.
The German International Climate Initiative - the main funder of the project - aims to support partner countries worldwide in establishing climate-friendly economic structures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions where possible. This support covers areas such as increasing energy efficiency, expanding renewable energies, capacity building and policy advice in the partner country.
"Transport is one of the most challenging topics due to its continuing growth", said Germany's Environment Minister, Dr. Norbert Roettgen.
"Without effective measures and programmes, successes in reducing emissions in other sectors could be offset by increased emissions from transport. We need both a clear reduction of transport emissions in the industrialized world but also a slow-down of current emission trends in the developing world. The German Federal Environment Ministry supports this project as an ambitious and comprehensive trend-setting example aiming for climate friendly and sustainable mobility in India."
The outcomes of the national low-carbon transport action plan will include the development of Sustainability Indicators; an assessment of transport sector emissions and projections of future emissions till 2050; policy recommendations and a road map for the development of a sustainable transport system, including the identification of technology and financial needs and international cooperation options.
The cities component of the project will produce a methodology for developing low-carbon mobility plans at the city level and will identify appropriate infrastructure and technology options for emissions reduction and climate change adaptation measures as part of these plans.
The project will also create an online network for information sharing and coordination to facilitate better cooperation among stakeholders and to encourage public engagement.
It is hoped that the newly-launched low carbon transport project will create a model transport pathway for India that can serve as an inspiration to other developing countries.