Low Carbon City in Asia

Action towards Resource-efficiency and Low Carbon City in Asia

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Why resource-efficient and low carbon cities?

Posted by Low Carbon City in Asia on June 15, 2010

Cities across the globe account for about 2% of the earth’s landmass and host 3.1 billion (51%) of the world’s population. In 1950, only 231 million (17.1%) people lived in urban areas in Asia. It has now increased more than seven times to about 1.8 billion (42%). With more than two fifths of the world’s population, Asia now has the largest number of urban dwellers. Cities as units of production and consumption have not only been consuming natural resources, but also degrading the environment through generation of waste and polluting land, water and air. It is estimated that cities contributed to 19.8 Gt of CO2 emissions from energy use in 2006 and are expected to emit 30.8 Gt by 2030. Cities have played leading roles in economic, social, political and culture throughout the history of human development. Moreover, they are centers of innovation and can advance clean energy systems, promote sustainable transportation and waste management. Cities are also the centers of economic and political activity. Addressing city level issues will help progress climate policy discussions. Cities are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and many Asian cities are at risk of flood and inundation from rising sea levels and rivers. Therefore, cities need to act to address climate change by implementing bold steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and adapt to future uncertainties. Therefore, targeting cities as the first line of action would help countries simultaneously to address resource conservation and to progress towards low carbon societies.

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Towards low carbon cities: TCEP and Bilan Carbone® approach

Posted by Low Carbon City in Asia on June 13, 2010

To assist companies, administrations and local authorities in their pursuit of fighting against climate change, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) has developed methodologies and tools – TCEP (Territorial Climate and Energy Plan) and the “Bilan Carbone®” (Carbon Assessment tool).

What does the TCEP aim to do?:

 The TCEP has three main objectives: First, mitigation of GHG emissions and reducing the territories’ vulnerability to climate change. TCEP developed by ADEME for the local actors consists of tools for evaluating GHG emissions and in identifying the path to progress. Secondly, it helps them in developing action plans based on the identified paths and their policies related to urban planning and management, transport, housing, etc. Thirdly, it provides for sharing information and mobilizing local population for action towards climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Role of Bilan Carbone® tool:

ADEME’s emissions accounting model, Bilan Carbone®(Carbon Balance) method, serves as a tool to calculate the GHG emissions to assess the direct and indirect emissions produced by the different activities of all the stakeholders in a territory. The 6th version of the tool was launched in May 2009.

The Bilan Carbone® module is made up of a series of spreadsheets, with associated utility manuals. A main Excel spreadsheet is used to calculate emissions, compare emissions between different years and assess the potential of various emission reduction actions. The associated utilities assist users in calculating the emissions in road transport, the cooling gas leaks from refrigeration and air conditioning systems, and simulating “what is at stake economically” over the entire range of activities studied. Over 2,000 Bilan Carbone® diagnostics have been conducted in France and being adapted in the rest of the world.

To get more information on Bilan Carbone®

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An invitation to cities and interested partners

Posted by Low Carbon City in Asia on June 13, 2010

For the “Action towards Resource-efficient and Low Carbon Cities in Asia” initiative to succeed, partnership and collaboration among various stakeholders – city authorities and its service units, NGOs, businesses, civil society, donors’ organization, etc – are imperative. We look forward to work jointly on issues and areas of interest from stakeholders, who wish to contribute in this effort. Support for this program can be in the form of:

  • organizing workshops and training programs to sensitize city authorities towards low carbon initiatives;
  • assisting them to carry out the diagnostic studies in consultation with urban stakeholders that allow to priorities the action plan in the participating cities;
  • consultation on the activities the cities would implement;
  • assisting in implementing specific initiatives in the participating cities; and
  • dissemination of program results and sharing of information. 

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The program in a nutshell

Posted by Low Carbon City in Asia on June 13, 2010

There are 225 urban agglomerations in Asia with populations of 0.5 to 1 million, and 184 cities with populations of 1 to 5 million. These are expected to increase to 241 and 244 respectively by 2015. This will lead to higher resource use and environmental issues. The authorities and planners need to take initiatives to address resource use efficiency of cities and the greenhouse gas emissions.

The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) with support from the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) has initiated a two year “Action towards Resource-efficient and Low Carbon Cities in Asia” program with the objective to assist a number of small and medium cities of Asia in their efforts towards low carbon society through improved resource efficiency and promoting environmental sustainability.

 At the end of the program, the participating cities are expected:

  • to address resource depletion and greenhouse gas emission issues, promote low carbon activities, and to have the sensitivity to take into consideration the voices of their citizens, including the poor and women;
  • to formulate policies and strategies that favor equitable and socially fair growth, and sustainable production and consumption practices;
  • to acquire knowledge on techniques to introduce low carbon initiatives; and
  • to use the Bilan Carbone® tool, and implement few initiatives based on the analysis and outputs of Bilan Carbone®.

 To achieve the above goals, the major activities that will be conducted in consultation with stakeholders and partners, include:

  • training city authorities and other stakeholders on Territorial Climate and Energy Plan (TCEP) and “Bilan Carbone®” and their applicability to small and medium-size cities in Asia;
  • pilot scale activities in selected Asian cities; and
  • Information dissemination among a wider spectrum of cities.

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