27, May, 2014

ELLA Learning Alliance on Climate Resilient Cities – Discussion 9: Low Carbon Development Strategies

Based on successful Latin American practices in low-carbon transport, energy efficiency and waste management, experts from Africa, Asia and Latin America discussed the current state low carbon development strategies in their cities, and the need for further actions.

This discussion, moderated by low-carbon expert Enrique Rebolledo, from Bajo Carbono, Mexico, focused on city level low-carbon development initiatives. Participants looked specifically at Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) transportation, energy generation from solar panels and landfills that convert methane into energy. Enrique Rebolledo focused the discussion around how to build a business model that would encourage uptake of clean technologies and developing public-private partnerships (PPP). Participants shared information on initiatives from cities in their countries that aim to reduce GHG emissions while producing other co-benefits for society, and analysed the barriers that have prevented their cities from taking more significant action.

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Key Conclusions:

  • Public-private partnerships have created the enabling environment for investment in, and the success of, urban emissions reductions programmes that also improve quality of life of urban inhabitants.
  • Many cities have made pledges on paper, which in reality continue to fall short of the mark.
  • Switching to a BRT system is complicated due to the financial loss that will be felt by those currently providing public transport (mini-buses and taxis), and due to the negative perception that many people have of public transport.
  • Using biogas digesters to create energy from waste is a process which requires a certain level of sophistication in waste disposal and collection, as such several steps need to be taken to make this system viable.

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