ADB calls for low-carbon transport systems

MANILA: The Asian Development Bank Saturday called on its Asian government borrowers to design mass transport systems in a way that would slow the rapid growth of their greenhouse gas emissions.

While developed countries still account for the largest share, transport sector emissions from developing countries, particularly in Asia, were growing rapidly, the Manila-based lender said in a statement.

Transport-related carbon dioxide emissions are expected to rise 57 percent over the 25 years to 2030, the ADB said. Those from developing countries were expected to contribute about 80 percent of this increase as car and truck ownership becomes more widespread.

The bank's borrowers include China and India, which together account for nearly half the world's population.

Governments must reduce the need for travel through better integration of land use and transport and more effective use of carbon-finance mechanisms to fund environment-friendly transport policies, it said.

They should also convince their peoples to recognise the benefits of low-carbon transport in reducing air pollution, noise, congestion and road accidents, it added.

The bank earlier sponsored a May 12-16 meeting in Bellagio, Italy, to help build consensus on transport sector policies ahead of the United Nations climate change meetings in Copenhagen in December.

"The Bellagio meeting will greatly help ADB to develop its Sustainable Transport Initiative, which aims to help Asian countries change their transport investment patterns and secure a low-carbon, sustainable transport future," said Um Woo Chong, director of the bank's energy, transport and water division. cgm/bsk