Sustainable urban transport (SUT) systems are urgently needed in developing and emerging economies world-wide. Fast rates of motorisation, especially increases in private car ownership and travel have already turned congestion, air pollution and noise into common problems in many emerging and developing cities. Due to lost time and higher transport costs, road congestion is estimated to cost Asian economies 2-5% of GDP per year already. Asian cities also suffer from the highest air pollution levels in the world with transport being one of its largest contributors.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo, in an editorial in the ‘Huffington Post,’ has outlined next steps following on the outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), which concluded a year earlier in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The UNFCCC Secretariat has released a series of documents that will be discussed by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and technical Advice (SBSTA) at its 38th session, taking place in Bonn, Germany. The documents relate to methodological issues related to the Kyoto Protocol, the new market-based mechanism, emissions from international transport, the UNFCCC reporting guidelines, high-carbon reservoirs, and a framework for various approaches.
The Organization for American States (OAS) has announced the 14 recipients from ten Central American and Caribbean countries of US$50,000 grants from the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) to non-governmental organizations, community associations and academic institutions for community-based projects in clean energy, disaster resilience, sustainable transport and waste management.
The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Implementing Agreement on Bioenergy (IEA Bioenergy) newsletter notes that while bioenergy can contribute to Austria’s renewable energy targets, new technologies for transport fuels will need to be suported, while also discussing activities at the November Executive Committee meeting and Task 40 on Sustainable International Bioenergy Trade.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UNEP Risø Centre (URC) December’s newsletter includes stories on the Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) project and electrification in Africa, including efforts within the Sustainable Energy For All Initiative (SE4ALL). The newsletter also features several stories on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), including capacity building projects in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) region.
The Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) of the World Bank report, which is based on analyses in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland and South Africa, finds that many of the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction measures pay themselves back, while ambitious global action to reduce technology costs, scale up private sector financing, and provide climate financing is still required.
The UNFCCC Secretariat has achieved its aim of full climate neutrality by the end of 2012, through emission avoidance and reduction, plus an offsetting scheme using Adaptation Fund (AF) Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) for the remaining balance. The UNFCCC Secretariat encourages other UN agencies and intergovernmental organizations to do the same.
The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the German international cooperation agency (GIZ) are helping Costa Rica’s coffee, waste management and public transport sectors prepare Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), with the coffee NAMA first to be completed by end of 2012 and implemented in 2013.
The study covers both developed and developing countries, paying special attention to barriers to low-carbon, climate resilient (LCR) infrastructure in low-income nations due to basic banking services, lack of non-bank financial services, weak risk management capacity, and limited availability of long-term funding.