UNEP Publishes Reports on Low Carbon Transport and City Planning in India

UNEP28 August 2013: Three reports released by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) evaluate and summarize options for low carbon city planning, non-motorised transport (NMT) and infrastructure risks due to climate variability in India. The reports were published as part of the project on 'Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India.'

The first report, titled 'Low Carbon City: A Guidebook for City Planners and Practitioners,' provides basic guidance to city level policy makers, urban planners, transport planners and consultants. The guidebook focuses on: the meaning of "low carbon" in the context of long-term global climate stabilization target; low carbon scenarios and alternate development pathways to achieve these scenarios; and the role of low carbon development in India. The guidebook also links mitigation with adaptation as part of a framework for climate compatible development. The guidebook evaluates global energy system transitions, and elaborates on the need for radical improvements in end-use efficiency, increased shares of renewable energy, smart grid, as well as nuclear energy, and carbon capture and storage as hedging options for climate risk.

The second report identifies gaps in the implementation of policy for NMT-use in Indian cities. Titled 'NMT Infrastructure in India: Investment, Policy and Design,' the study evaluates policy and design interventions for the implementation of NMT projects in Indian cities and considers their impact on road users. It highlights that, despite the declining patterns of walking and bicycling over the last two decades, NMT is still a dominant mode of transport in Indian cities. The report finds that major gaps exist at the level of data collection and demand estimation for non-motorised traffic.

The third report, titled 'Framework for Infrastructure Assets: A Case Study of Konkan Railways,' summarizes the uncertainties and risks that infrastructure assets face due to climate variability and suggests possible adaptation strategies. It also provides a framework for assessing the likelihood of climate impacts; the framework links climate change variables, such as temperature and sea-level rise, with sustainable development variables, including technology and institutions. [Publication: NMT Infrastructure in India: Investment, Policy and Design][Publication: Framework for Infrastructure Assets: A Case Study of Konkan Railways][Publication: Low Carbon City: A Guidebook for City Planners and Practitioners]