World Bank, Rio de Janeiro Launch Low Carbon City Development Program

World Bank18 June 2012: On the occasion of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), the city of Rio de Janeiro and the World Bank launched the Low Carbon City Development Program.

The Rio de Janeiro Low Carbon City Development Program, financed by the World Bank Institute's Climate Change Practice Group through its Carbon Finance-Assist Program and certified according to ISO standards, will help Rio de Janeiro monitor and account for low carbon investments and climate change mitigation actions across different sectors. The Program consists of a business model that ais to be replicated in other cities around the world. It is based on the recognition that cities account for over two-thirds of the world's energy consumption and 70% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Program will help Rio secure low-carbon growth and protect its natural resources.

Eduardo Paes, mayor of Rio, highlighted that, with World Bank's support, a transparent and reliable method to account for all of the city's mitigation activities will be established. The goal for the city is to secure a reduction of 20% of the city's 2005 emissions reductions by the end of 2020. Projects that will help achieve that goal include a greater network of bike paths, the opening of the first of four exclusive Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes, and the universalization of basic sanitation in Zona Oeste.

Hasan Tuluy, World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, noted that the ISO certification for this program is a first-of-its-kind and makes it a business model for climate change mitigation at city-level. The Rio Low Carbon City Development Program will also quantify the carbon stored and sequestered annually in the city's forest using an innovative tool called iTree, a tool that will help value services provided by urban trees. [World Bank Press Release]