CAI and LAC News in Brief

CAI’s new web pages for 11 LAC cities

As part of the Regional Program on Sustainable Transport and Air Quality for Latin America and the Caribbean (STAQ Program) and CAI’s activities in the monitoring and support of 11 city’s implementation of sustainable transport projects, CAI has designed web pages for the 11 cities that participate in the STAQ program. These pages include information relating to: the major initiatives of sustainable transport, data, development indicators, achievements, news, videos, and access to important links. This tool will serve to disseminate the progress in project’s implementation, and to give exposure and recognition to the cities.

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Carcinogenic Effects of Diesel Emissions and LAC

In June 2012 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans, based on sufficient evidence that exposure is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. The new classification is of direct relevance to Latin America where air pollution concentrations in many cities exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) standards and the use of older diesel vehicles and high sulfur fuel diesel is still widespread.

The CAI is seeking to tackle these issues through its Sustainable Transport and Air Quality (STAQ) program funded by the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank.

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The Clean Air Institute, in its capacity as an Observer to the Clean Technology Fund, was selected to participate in one of the organization committees for the annual Climate Investment Fund Partnership forum.

The 2012Partneship forum will be the CIF’s second annual forum. The form will be co-hosted by CIF and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Istanbul, in Turkey on November 6-7, 2012, with related meetings from the 1st to the 5th.

In March Sergio Sanchez spoke at the Third Dialogue on Mexico’s Green Economy entitled “Opportunities and Challenges: Towards efficiency and low emissions in the freight sector” aimed at identifying barriers and opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce emissions in the transport of cargo. Sergio focused on the Clean Air Institute’s development of a Freight Logistics policy for Mexico designed to reduce CO2 emissions as well as associated co-benefits for presentation for funding within the NAMA (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions) Framework.

CAI Launches New Policy Paper

The Clean Air Institute is pleased to announce that our most recent policy document is now available via our website.

Transport Demand Management: Opportunities and Challenges in Urban Areas of Latin America.

This document describes the transport demand management measures relevant to Latin America. These strategies can be implemented to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing unnecessary unsustainable trips and generating more attraction sustainable travel modes.

The document is based on an extensive review of the current situation, international challenges and opportunities, and ideas and recommendations for Latin America. With an overview of the different instruments, including their characteristics and potential obstacles, it also examines the potential of each instrument for implementation in the region. Conclusions are provided about the usefulness and applicability of these instruments in Latin America specifically.

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Development Banks Invest $175 Billion to Support Low-Emission Transportation Programs

At the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development conference last month the world's eight largest development banks committed to invest $175 billion over 10 years to support low-emission transportation programs. This will support programs such as car sharing or rapid bus systems, in Asia, Latin America and Africa, whose cities are bracing for population growth of 1 billion people over the next two decades.

The financial commitment comes at a critical time for the transportation sector, as cities in developing countries are expected to add hundreds of millions of people to their populations. If current trends continue, the transportation sector will become the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, accounting for 46 percent of global emissions by 2035. As cities grow the focus must shift from car-centered mobility to more sustainable modes to avoid the issues of air pollution, congestion and climate change becoming more severe.

Whilst this is the largest global financial commitment to sustainable transport and undeniably a huge achievement, the scale of investment needs to be even greater. The eight development banks estimate that, for example, certain countries in Asia will require over $2.5 trillion between now and 2020 to advance transport to a suitable level.

CAI and Other SLOCAT Members Present Recommendations to the United Nations

Members of the Sustainable Low Carbon Transport Partnership (SLOCAT), including the Clean Air Institute, met together in New York on 8th June 2012 to provide recommendations to the UN for implementing the Five Year Action Plan on Sustainable Development announced in January by Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of United Nations. With regard to transport, the UN goal is to develop and take action on recommendations for more sustainable transport systems that can address rising congestion and pollution worldwide, particularly in urban areas. The meeting was followed by a UN bike ride from the Organization’s Headquarters to the offices of the Netherlands Mission to the UN, which organized the event which was designed to highlight the importance of sustainable transport.

Prior to the bike ride Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the ride’s participants “I would much rather see bicycles and bike-riders around here rather than the limousines, armoured SUVs and other gas-guzzling cars that we all use at the United Nations!”. The Secretary-General said he hoped biking culture continues to grow in cities as it is not only a low-carbon transport method, but also beneficial for people’s health. He also elaborated that “Bicycles are important, but they are just part of a bigger picture: our global efforts to achieve truly sustainable development. Our challenge is to get the world to use renewable energy to power our trains, planes, buses and boats. This is especially important for cities”.