Peru, leader in fighting against Climate Change through transport
The transport sector accounts for 22% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) and is the fastest growing sector in terms of overall emissions. It is also responsible for 35% of per capita CO2 emissions in Latin America. If governments in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) do not initiate policies to curb private motorization rates, fossil fuel needs could triple by 2050.
Peru is leading the way by developing a national climate change plan, the Planificación ante el Cambio Climático (Planning for Climate Change or PlanCC) that includes a robust and comprehensive approach to reduce emissions from the transport sector. PlanCC comes at a precipitous time, as Peru is set to host COP 20 in December 2014, a crucial forum for countries to take meaningful action on climate change. Also, Peru is taking the lead in building a coalition of LAC countries, including the Association of Independent Latin American and Caribbean states (AILAC) group, to advance climate change mitigation in the region.
Peru’s PlanCC is part of the Mitigation Action Plans and Scenarios (MAPS) program, a collaborative project between South Africa, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia. MAPS combines research and stakeholder interest with climate policy and planning to help developing countries in their path towards climate resiliency. Implementing PlanCC will require collaboration among many stakeholders both within and outside of government.
As PlanCC takes a cross-sector approach, it is vital that the transport sector is included in this plan. Included within the transport sector are two key agenda items: reducing GHG emissions and recognizing the social and economic benefits of sustainable development.
Reducing CO2emissions and energy consumption protects the environment and combats climate change. PlanCC includes the development of a standardized, official data management system that collects, manages, and shares GHG emissions reductions data and will in turn bolster the relevance of transport in larger climate change discussions.
Sustainable transport also benefits quality of life. For example, Mexico City’s Metrobús bus rapid transit (BRT) has reduced travel time by 50%, reduced traffic crashes by 30%, and has resulted in the reduction of 80,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually. Sustainable transport measures like BRT create jobs and opportunities, help cities save on healthcare costs.
Peru and other MAPS countries are setting the precedent for other developing nations to strive for deep collaboration across sectors in developing national climate change plans. If climate change is to be holistically addressed, mobilizing transport mitigation actions must be central to any and all climate change mitigation plans.