In this Issue

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the first edition of the Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India project newsletter. This project is a collaboration between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of India and the International Climate Initiative of Germany (ICI).

In this edition we bring you news about this novel project in India, including:

    • Details of the launch and how this initiative is linked to UNEP’s Green Economy focus.

    • Starting with an overview of the project, the newsletter presents the project institutional structure in addition to information about the key interventions within the project and ongoing activities

    • The Outcomes from an Expert’s Workshop on development of sustainability indicators for the transport sector in India, which took place on 29 August 2011 in Ahmedabad, are also presented

    • Macro and city level sustainability indicators have been identified alongside a methodology for their use in alternative future scenarios

    • We also feature a special article on the role of Germany’s International Climate Initiative (ICI) in transport related activities, with details of the kind of support that they provide in this sector

UNEP supports countries in making sound policy, technology, and investment choices. By engaging in public/private partnerships and best practices, UNEP serves to promote energy efficiency improvements and greenhouse gas emission reductions. In particular, the Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India project will support a shift from high–carbon to low-carbon modes of transport through technical, financial and networking support services.

We hope this nenewsletter_2ufficiently informs you of this new initiative and we look forward to sharing more about the project in the following editions.

Yours Sincerely,

Rob de Jong,
Head, UNEP Transport unit.


Upcoming Workshop: 2nd National Stakeholder’s Workshop,
18 -20 October 2011, New Delhi

is scheduled to take place on 18-20 October 2011, at the India Habitat Center in New Delhi. During the first day, participants will discuss the framework for national scenarios and outcomes of the public consultation on macro level sustainability indicators. Case studies of transport systems such as dedicated rail freight corridors will be presented.

Urban low carbon mobility at city level will be the key subject of discussion on 19-20 October. This will include deliberations on developing a methodology for low carbon mobility plans, city level sustainability indicators that emerged from a public consultation process, and case studies of urban transport infrastructures such as Bus Rapid Transit and metro systems. Discussions throughout the workshop will draw participation from government, industry, civil society, transport experts and consultants.  The findings and conclusion from the workshop will be on the project website.

Participation in the workshops is via invitation only. Should you be interested in these topics, kindly contact Prof. Prem Pangotora, email:                                                                                                    New Delhi's BRT System

Public Survey: Indicators for Sustainable Transportation System in India

The development of a set of sustainability 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. Two sets of indicators are being developed by the project team: at macro (national) and city level. The national indicators will be used to develop alternative scenarios for achieving a low carbon pathway with projections up to 2050, and the city indicators are to be used for low carbon mobility plans which will have a time horizon till 2030, consistent with the timeframe of a city development plan (20 years).

It is important that indicators developed for India best reflect local perceptions of sustainability. Therefore, we would like to invite you to participate in a public survey that is being conducted till 17 October 2011. These indicators cover economic, social, environmental, technical/ technological, meta (strategic), mobility and accessibility, infrastructure and land use, safety and security and economic (response) aspects. Following the public survey, a revised set of indicators will be presented and discussed at a second stakeholder workshop from 18 to 20 October 2011 in New Delhi. More information on the survey, how to participate and where to send your feedback can be obtained from

 Transport in India: Indicators for Sustainability

Project Overview

The Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India project - a collaboration between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of India and the International Climate Initiative of Germany (ICI) - will be implemented over a 3 year period, and seeks to develop a vision for India’s transition towards a sustainable low carbon transport development. One of the greatest challenges faced by the transport sector is establishing the right infrastructure and services to fulfill the growing mobility demand, while reducing negative impacts locally and globally. India, as an emerging economy, has the capacity to design and implement a sustainable low carbon transport model and become a role model for the developing world. A low carbon transport strategy requires an integrated approach to identify measures that will achieve net benefits in enhancing mobility while minimizing the carbon intensity. The project is designed to articulate these requirements at both national and city levels through a number of .

                                              People and Mobility: A snap shot of the 'India Gate', Delhi

Project Institutional Structure

The project team comprises of several including UNEP, the UNEP Risoe Centre (URC) and prominent local partners such as the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and CEPT University. This team, in coordination with the Ministries of Environment and Forests, Urban Development and prominent experts and project advisors is developing a number of guidelines and methodologies for the realization of low carbon mobility. The project will demonstrate a combination of policies, technologies and financial options to support such development and showcase transport mitigation efforts. The project institutional structure is illustrated in figure 1 below.

                                              Figure 1: Project Institutional Structure

Project Launch

The Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India project was launched with an inception workshop in New Delhi on 12 November 2010. The three key Indian partners, around 50 experts, researchers, policy makers and many other stakeholders from the transport sector participated in the workshop. The inaugural address was delivered by H.E. Jairam Ramesh, former Minister of State for Environment and Forests in India. The German government, which is supporting the project, was represented by Mr. Jan- Axel Voss, and the UNEP and URC core team was also present.

                              From left: Inaugural Speech by Shri Jairam Ramesh, and panellists -
                            Dr. Subash Dhar, Prof PR Shukla, Mr. Rob de Jong, Dr. Jorge Rogat and Mr. Jan-Axel Voss

During the launch, Dr. Norbert Roettgen, Germany’s Environment Minister, said, ’Transport is one of the most challenging topics due to its continuing growth. 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 at a climate friendly and sustainable mobility in India’.                                                                                 Dr. Norbert Roettgen,                                                                                                                                 German Environment Minister

Overall, the inception workshop was very successful as it generated a lot of interest within India and received extensive coverage by the local and international media. Active discussions took place during the workshop, and generated valuable feedback and suggestions on the project design, objectives and outcomes.


Key Interventions and Ongoing Activities

India has been experiencing a robust economic growth in the last few years that has resulted in increased CO2 emissions and demand for energy. In particular, the growth of vehicle populations has led to increased congestion, local air pollution and road accidents. The overarching goal of this project is to create an enabling environment for building sustainable transport systems, which help in reducing climate risks through mitigation and by building adaptation capacity within the transport sector.

                                                         Figure 2: Key Interventions

The project contains two . The first involves development of a Transport Action Plan (TAP) whose components will comprise sustainability indicators at macro and city level, integrated assessment of the transport sector at national level, a fuel efficiency policy study, case studies of transport systems and infrastructures, and development of a framework for climate proofing. The second intervention involves development of Low Carbon Mobility Plans (LCMPs) which comprise formulation of a methodology for LCMPs, development of LCMPs for cities with a guidebook for further dissemination, and capacity building in cities for preparation of project proposals.

Developing Sustainable Transport Indicators

A set of sustainability 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. Two sets of indicators are being developed: at macro (national) and city level. The national indicators will be used to develop alternative scenarios for achieving a low carbon pathway with projections up to 2050, while the city indicators will be used for low carbon mobility plans with a time horizon till 2030, consistent with the timeframe of a city development plan (20 years).

A preliminary set of indicators was first developed by the project team based on literature reviews and cross referencing with similar activities elsewhere. These were further deliberated upon during an expert workshop on the development of indicators for sustainable transport that was held in Ahmedabad in August, 2011. More than 20 experts participated in the workshop and provided comments on the prioritization of a set of indicators for national and city levels. The Workshop Report is available

                              Expert workshop on the development of surstainable transport indicators for India:
                                                          Participants during the breakout session

Based on the comments received, the team has now further fine-tuned the set of indicators and is looking forward to receiving further comments via another round of public consultations. As there is no set of standard indicators that define a sustainable transport setting, it is important that indicators developed for India best reflect local perceptions of sustainability. Therefore, we would like to invite you to participate in this online survey which will be conducted till 17 October 2011. Feedback received from the public survey will be incorporated and a final set of indicators will be presented and discussed at a scheduled to take place on 18-20 October 2011 in New Delhi. Discussions on macro indicators will be held on 18 October 2011, while the city indicators will be discussed on 19 October 2011. National level indicators will be used in conjunction with national scenarios. Indicators at city level will be developed alongside a methodology for preparing low carbon mobility plans that will be utilized by city managers and consultants. The indicators at city level will also serve as guidance for policy makers and decision makers to determine whether transportation systems at city level are becoming more or less sustainable.

Link to the Surveys:

The Link between Green Economy and a Low Carbon Pathway

The transport sector is considered as one of the major contributors
of climate change (accounting for roughly 25% of energy related CO2 emissions) and highly dependent on crude oil (above 95%). It is a cross - cutting sector that has a major social and economic dimension. Transport contributes to economic growth, and at the same time economic growth increases transportation demand. Therefore, transportation planning needs to take into consideration environmental concerns (local air pollution and climate change), accessibility issues, poverty eradication, health impacts and development agendas. Due to these aspects, addressing transportation needs and growth in a sustainable manner is synonymous to building a green economy.

    Stop: Climate Change

Enhancing mobility options for millions while reducing negative impacts requires a combination of approaches that avoid unnecessary travel through proper transport/land-use planning, shift to less polluting and less energy intensive modes by encouraging mass transit oriented developments and improve the overall fuel and vehicle efficiency through clean technologies. Lack of such interventions would result in a major rise in emissions from vehicles - not only greenhouse emissions, but also local air pollution, increased congestion and compromised safety standards. Furthermore, uncontrolled urbanization will result in increased reliance on private motor vehicles and dependency on fossil fuels. A sustainable transport sector needs to decouple increasing demand for mobility services from emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. demonstrates that with available technologies and policies we can easily reduce global greenhouse emissions from the transport sector by at least 70%, by focusing on the three key areas: Avoid, Shift and Improve.

Many good examples are available - both in developing and developed countries. Development of sustainable low carbon transport strategies at national level should be promoted. Policies guiding these strategies could focus on four areas:

    • First, a macro-economic case should be made for investments in sustainable transport, including the necessary infrastructure. Often investments prioritize road infrastructure for private motor vehicles although the majority of users do not own private motor vehicles. Road investment should make structural allocations to provide quality infrastructure for non-motorized transport (NMT - walking and cycling) and public transport e.g. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems

    • Second, there are many success stories available that demonstrate the potential to invest in cost effective mass transport systems such as BRT and light rail, including through public-private investment partnerships for their development and operation

    • Third, city development strategies that focus on reducing transport needs, including through bringing functions close together (living, working, shopping and schooling), promoting density rather than urban sprawl, and developing infrastructure for NMT and public transport

    • Finally, countries should develop clean and efficient vehicle policies and standards. These include technology transfer, introduction of cleaner fuels and seeking alternatives to the importation of old inefficient vehicles

UNEP’s collaboration with the Government of India on Promoting Low Carbon Transport aims to showcase the viability of the above approaches at both the national and city level.

Visit UNEP Low Carbon Transport website


International Climate Initiative: Germany’s Role in Transport

                                              Efficient Public Transport in Germany - Berlin Tram

The International Climate Initiative (ICI) of Germany was initiated in 2008, to promote and support climate protection programmes in developing, emerging and economies in transition. The programme focuses on three areas: climate change mitigation that also demonstrates the economic viability of the transition towards a Low Carbon Economy, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and climate change adaptation.

To date, ICI supports nine transport related projects focusing on climate change mitigation in China, India, Ukraine and Chile, including a transnational project covering a range of interventions from low carbon technological options, support for market transformation to establishment of a framework for monitoring, reporting and verification for the transport sector. From 2008 to 2010, ICI has funded 181 projects worth €357 million in 61 partner countries, of which €194 million has been disbursed towards implementation of activities within these projects. Germany’s achievements in the transport sector, in view of the climate challenge, have been positive. While after 1990, emissions from passenger transport in Germany rose quickly, Germany managed to break this trend in 2000. Since then, greenhouse gas emissions from transport have been slightly declining.

In December 2007, Germany committed itself to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30% by 2020 compared to 1990. This was part of the German Integrated Energy and Climate Program, which includes market incentives on renewable energy and measures to support sustainable transport. Transport is one of the key topics of focus in 2010-2011 for the German government. The German Environment Ministry supports transport projects that target sustainable mobility in line with ICI’s operational framework. The India project is the third within the programme, after China and Ukraine.

Read more on the International Climate Initiative here.


For further information on the Project, Please contact:

At UNEP At UNEP Risoe Centre

Kamala Ernest
Programme Officer

Subash Dhar
Senior Economist


Mette Annelie Rasmussen, URC

Design & Layout

Henry Kibocha, UNEP


Subash Dhar, URC
Jorge Rogat, URC
Kamala Ernest, UNEP
Annemarie Kinyanjui, UNEP