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CDM Projects (Clean Development Mechanism) - public transport

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  • Cornie Huizenga [mailto:cornie.huizenga@c
    From: Cornie Huizenga [mailto:cornie.huizenga@cai-asia.org] Sent: Monday, 24 November 2008 04:16 Dear Eric, Following Lee s suggestion - can you post this?
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 24, 2008

      From: Cornie Huizenga [mailto:cornie.huizenga@...]
      Sent: Monday, 24 November 2008 04:16

      Dear Eric,


      To advance the discussion on transport and climate two approaches are required:


      1)  Try to get transport into the climate agenda.


      Obviously this is much wider than the question on CDM.  The upcoming COP 14 in Poland will be an important step on the road to a follow-up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. Based on the 4 th. Assessment Report of the IPCC it is clear that the overall ambition level of the new agreement which will be signed in Copenhagen needs to be a radically different one than in the case of the Kyoto Protocol.  Many of the Annex 1 countries are now talking about reductions of 20-30% by 2020 and 50-80% by 2050.  If such more ambitious targets are adopted for Annex 1 countries this will need to have radical consquences for transport in the Annex 1 countries. It is logical that these radical changes in the Annex 1 countries will spill over to non-Annex  countries at some point in time.


      In Poland there will be lots of dicussions on the new Agreement, especially in the ad-hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action, which was set up in Bali last year to "translate" the Bali Action Plan into a new agreement. These discussions will also focus on mesurable mitigation activities that developing countries/ non-Annex 1 countries will start to undertake to reduce GHG emissions (outside the scope of any CDM activities).  This clearly opens the possibility to talk transport as well.


      In the ad-how working group on Future Commitments of Annex 1 countries under the Kyoto Protocol there will be comprehensive discussions on how to move forward with CDM.  The suggestions made in previous meetings of this working group indicate that there is a strong awareness of the limitations of the current CDM instrument.  While the transport community has been lamenting that transport was not integrated in CDM, a large part of the wider climate community has already come to the conclusion that CDM was flawed by itself and not suitable to contribute to the relatively modest reduction goals under the commitment period 2008-2012.


       Looking at the discussions and suggestions on the future of CDM as well as the broader agenda for COP 14 in Poland the important thing for the transport community is to look forward and focus on:

      • The current importance of the transport sector as a contributor to GHG emissions in Annex 1 and non- Annex 1 countries and the BAU scenario's which will explain how the various reduction scenario's require reductions within the transport sector for them to become reality;
      • Options to reduce transport emissions to a level required under different GHG reduction scenarios through technological and non-technological measures in both Annex 1 and non-Annex1 countries;
      • Mix of command and control and market based instruments to implement the technological and non-technological measures, in both Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 countries;
      • Transfer payments between Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 countries which cover a substantial part of transport emissions AND which at the same time encourage/reward non Annex 1 countries to take policy measures to reduce transpot emissions further;
      • Capacity building measures to support non-Annex 1 countries to formulate and implement broad based measures to reduce GHG emissions from the transport sector through command and control as well as market based approaches, both those which are implemented with and those which are implemented without some form of transfer payment.

      To promote such a more broad based approach to the integration of transport in climate change a number of organizations have decided to coordinate in the organization of transport related side events at COP 14.  They will also seek to find some form of consensus on steps to be taken to arrive at a common Action Plan of steps to be taken in 2009 leading up to COP 15 in Copenhagen to promote a better integration of transport in the climate agenda. We will be able to send out a brochure soon of the transport side events at COP 15.


      2. Get climate into the transport agenda.


      Equally important is to ensure that transport planners take note of the climate implications of the decisions made. While the number of CDM projects is and will be limited in the time to come we should be aware that every day investment decisions are being made in non-Annex 1 countries which will lock in  GHG emissions for the next 20-30 years. Until and unless climate becomes an integral component in transport policy and urban planning non Annex 1 countries will be unable to decouple economic growth and development of the transport sector from the growth in GHG emissions.


      A better integration of transport in the climate agenda can help both Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 countries on the necessity to mainstream climate in transport policy making. This because of the higher political priority attached to climate if a successful new agreement is reached in Copenhagen which incudes mitigation activities for non-Annex 1 countries and which makes specific reference to the transport sector.


      To stimulate this discussion a double session on Transport and Climate in TRB in January. In a side event on 16 th. January the preliminary results of a number of think pieces on transport and climate commissioned by the Asian Development bank will be presented. This will include:

      • measurement of CO2 in the transport sector
      • co-benefits of climate oriented measures and e.g. air quality oriented measures
      • policies for a low carbon sustainable transport future
      • financing of low carbon transport
      • institutional arrangements in support of low carbin transport


      Informal survey on Climate and Transport activities in 2009


      It will be helpful for the transport community to have an idea of what the different organizations are doing/planning to do with respect to transport and climate in 2009. To get such a overview we are implementing a small informal survey - which is attached. If you are subscribed to a news group which does not allow attachments please send me an email and I will be happy to send the survey form to you.


      best regards,






      On Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 10:17 AM, <akopp@...> wrote:


      I agree to what you write. I think, however, that the 'co-benefits' don't materialize either if the urban transport discussion is boiled down to a bus system discussion or on capacity expansion of public transport. Other mechanisms are needed supporting sustainable urban transport more broadly.

      Cap and trade and CDM like mechanisms will not lead to action in the transport sector, because it is too expensive relative to other sectors to cut CO2 emissions there.



      Dr. Andreas Kopp
      Lead Economist
      World Bank Group
      Department for Energy, Transport and Water
      1818 H Street NW
      Washington, D.C. 20433
      ph. +1 202 473 6031



      -----"Lee Schipper" <schipper@...> wrote: -----

      From: "Lee Schipper" <schipper@...>
      Date: 11/23/2008 12:24PM
      cc: <Cities-for-Mobility@yahoogroups.com>, "Cornie Huizenga" <cornie.huizenga@...>, <bert.fabian@...>, "Holger Dalkmann" <h.dalkmann@...>, "Sergio Sanchez" <ssanchez@...>, <jleather@...>, <akopp@...>
      Subject: RE: [NewMobilityCafe] CDM Projects (Clean Development Mechanism) - public transport

      Why would you want public transport in CDM, when the values/costs/benefits of time saved, lower air pollution, less noise, greater rider security and safety etc DWARF the carbon values…and when adding a CDM component slows the entire improvement of transport down immensely while all of us don our green visors and count carbon.


      Counting that carbon is VERY hard ( http://embarq.wri.org/en/Article.140.aspx examined some of these issues including a paper we wrote for the 2007 ECEEE conference on measuring CO2 emissions CHANGES from transport projects).


      I'm VERY worried about CO2 in transport, but I'm convinced CDM and like process that link to "carbon finance" either slow the process down (see GEF grant progress), put too much focus on reducing CO2 rather than improving transport (they are not the same), filter our vision to projects whose carbon savings are relatively to measure (hybrid buses, proven but expensive) or ones with tiny and often questionable savings (like small additions of biodiesel to bus fuel).

      I'm not against rewarding carbon saving or efforts at mass transit, but the proportions of $ for carbon are tiny compared to the overall pot of time, transport, urban development.  Can Mexico City honestly say that their Metrobus was "additional", ie., would not have been undertaken to save $$ millions in saved time, accidents, local air pollution, reduced numbers of cars on the road (according to a nice report by the Instituto Nacional de Ecologia published in 2006) for a few hundred thousand $ of carbon finance funds arranged after the fact?


      Juerg Gruetter has made a good case for CDM and carbon financing of BRT projects, but in the end these only affect a small amount of CO2 (in buses) and, while they draw a modest number of riders from cars, still leave the rest of cars untouched. My fear is that CDM draws interest to those easily bankable projects and away from the much greater challenge, use of cars and other light duty vehicles.


      In four Latin American cities (Mexico City region, Bogota, S Paulo, and Santiago) cars and taxis appear to account for 65-70% of all direct GHG emissions from road traffic (including trucks).  Without policies and projects that reduce that traffic (and its growth) SIGNIFICANTLY, the savings from 'urban transport projects" in general will be small.  Since most fo the carbon is in cars, most of the change has to come from cars. How do you measure that and sell the results against a rapidly growing baseline? And cars and trucks are not "cdm-able", i.e., owned by the kinds of entities that can be part of CDM directly. Of course $$ could be given to cities who undertook strong transport measures, but again, why would they not undertake those measures anyway? And why would national governments not want to promulgate fuel economy standards to save oil?


      In short, is this really about $$ or political will?


      Finally, consider the following very rough numbers that illustrate the scale of the problem.

      World GDP 60 Trillion (until the crash)

      World gross investment $10 TN (remember buildings burn energy leading to CO2 emissions, too)

      Investments in transport infrastructure (road, rail, port, air, facilities like transfer stations) – my guess $1-2 TN

      World purchase of private household transport equipment $1TN (40 mn cars $25 000/car)

      World purchase of road fuels (roughly 2 TN)


      Are we really talking about  putting hundreds of billions YEARLY into doing what is the right thing even if CO2 was not a problem. Conversely, if we had a CO2 free fuel tomorrow, we'd still have a traffic mess worldwide. So maybe focusing on transport and Co2, rather than more broadly clean development – and understanding why developing cities' traffic is such a mess even before CO2 is considered – is higher on the agenda. If there are going to be N-S transfers, aka Overseas Development Assistance, is CO2 "abatement" the most cost effective way of using money for development?


      Realistically, how can CDM have more than a demonstration effect? If so, then let's forget CDM as such and move to  a wider effort to

      Demonstrate various regional policy and technical solutions, investing (for once) in enough competence building and data gathering so localities can monitor traffic, emissions, fuel, safety etc better. Our EMBARQ project in se Asia (PSUTA) discovered that authorities' ability to monitor even the most elementary problems of transport was pretty meager --http://embarq.wri.org/en/ProjectCitiesDetail.aspx?id=9


      Some of these issues will be discussed at the upcoming COP (Dec 5). Maybe Climate negotiations are not the right place to decide how to use the streets? There will also be a spirited discussion during Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington DC, both during the meeting itself and at a special side event Friday 16 January.  This note is copied to several of those involved in these discussions. Watch this space!


      Lee Schipper, Ph.D

      Project Scientist

      Global Metropolitan Studies



      From: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Eric Britton
      Sent: Sunday, November 23, 2008 2:37 AM
      To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com; sustran-discuss@...
      Cc: Cities-for-Mobility@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] CDM Projects (Clean Development Mechanism) - public transport


      That's a good question Roland. I just tried Knoogling it and came up with some interesting responses. You might wish to give it a try at http://knoogle.net . (And if you have suggestions for us as to sources or other details to improve  its operation ,please do . . . Eric Britton


      On Behalf Of Roland Sapsford
      Sent: Sunday, 23 November 2008 00:11



      Is anyone aware of any work underway through the CDM, or in negotiations around its successors, to make it easier for transport projects to be included. 

      As far as I know, the only public transport project so far granted CDM credits is the TransMilenio busway in Bogota.  The main barrier is that transport projects usually involve policy and planning changes as well as projects, and the methodological tests for additionality are hard to meet.

      Curiously yours
      Roland Sapsford

      Roland Sapsford
      Sustainability Solutions Consulting
      Climate Change, Cities, Energy, Transport
      PO Box 11-708, Manners St, Wellington 6142, New Zealand

      +64-4-9341106(w); +64-4-3851105(h); +64-21-651105(m)


      Dr. Rainer Rothfuss wrote:

      A través del instrumento CDM se pueden financiar proyectos para reducir emisiones de CO2 - también en el área del transporte.

      Más informaciones: http://www.cdm -cooperation.de/7.0.html

      Para saber más del los proyectos ya implementados en los diferentes países de América Latina hay que registrarse como usuario (gratuito).

      Clean Development Mechanism

      The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is a project-based mechanism, laid down in the Kyoto Protocol within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ( UNFCCC ) in 1997. On the one hand, it serves as a tool for the achievement of companies? or state?s emission targets under minimum costs. On the other hand, it provides an economic incentive for investments in technologies aiming at climate protection.

      Best regards,

      Rainer Rothfuss

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