India Steers Full Speed towards Low Carbon Transport

We do not normally carry media releases on projects, programs, reports or books, but today we make an exception and are gladly posting the following important announcement. We share this both here, in India Streets and on the Sustran Global South forum for comment and discussion. It is our firm intention to keep an independent eye on this potentially promising program, and our firm hope that the money spent and technical resources brought to the job will result above all in multiplying the number of many and diverse on-street examples of how sustainable mobility works in the interest of the entire population — and not just the privileged (automotive and relatively affluent) few. As William Blake put it roughly two centuries ago: “He who would do good to another must do it in minute particulars.” We pledge keep as eye on the minute particulars, in the hope that we are going to see examples of policies and practices not only for India but for the world.

India Steers Full Speed towards Low Carbon Transport

- Source: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Newsdesk

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

New Delhi, 12 November 2010 – Ranked as the fourth largest green house gas (GHG) emitter in the world, 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 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.

For more information, contact:

Shereen Zorba, Head, UNEP News Desk: unepnewsdesk@unep.org, Tel. +254 (0) 713601259

Rob de Jong, UNEP Sustainable Transport Unit, rob.jong@unep.org, Tel. +254 (0) 710602264 (M) / +254 20 762 4184 (Office)

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And now, your comments and discussion.

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