Climate mitigation in cities: adelphi organises side event at the Carbon Forum in Bogotá

The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in cities contributes not only to climate mitigation, it also improves the quality of life for city residents, according to the findings of an adelphi-organised event in the framework of the Climate Technology Initiative.


On behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) adelphi organised the panel discussion on September 4th, 2014, being designed as a side event to the Latin American and Caribbean Carbon Forum in Bogotá. As part of the activities surrounding the BMUB-led Climate Technology Initiative (CTI) workshop, the event continued discussions from previous dialogues about climate mitigation in buildings (read about the previous Climate Technology Initiative (CTI) workshop here).

Urban NAMA approaches lead to low emissions and improved quality of life

In Bogotá, special attention was paid to the role of carbon market instruments in cities. The climate protection instrument Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) took centre stage in the discussions, with representatives of ministries and public authorities from Columbia, Costa Rica and Uruguay putting forward their approaches to NAMA, and its application on a city-wide level, during the course of the conference. The integrated approach to an urban NAMA, from which the eponymously titled event got its name, extends beyond merely focussing on individual sectors.

The presented examples from Columbia and Costa Rica revealed that, when compared to treating individual sectors in an isolated fashion, the collective consideration of traffic, buildings, and waste disposal will have a synergistic effect and result in large emission savings. The presented approaches of NAMA can not only help saving greenhouse gas emissions but also result improvements for the quality of life by so-called co-benefits. This means for example, that a reduction of traffic by buses lowers emissions as well as the fine dust or noise pollution.

Remaining challenge: capacities and resources of local authorities

During the discussions, the participants were of one mind that the task of monitoring, reporting and verifying (MRV) emission reductions presents a central challenge to urban NAMAs. Differing approaches for an improved MRV system for urban NAMAs were debated, with the conclusion that if measurements were to be concentrated within a clearly demarcated geographical area in a city, an adjacent area could then serve as a reference point in order to better gauge emissions savings and co-benefits. A remaining challenge however is the capacities and resources of local authorities, which are often miniscule. In many cases these authorities are responsible for data capture, which is necessary for an effective MRV system. It is therefore of central importance that the positive effects of the previously mentioned co-benefits are made clear to authorities in order to gain their support for urban NAMAs.

» More information and download page of the workshop presentations