Latin America - Regional Sustainable Transport and Air Quality Project

GEF Agency: World Bank
GEF: US$21.05 million
Cofinancing: US$58.5 million

The transport sector is responsible for more than one-third of CO2 emissions in Latin America, and because of increased motorization and vehicle use, it is the fastest-growing CO2-emitting sector in the region. At the same time, Latin American cities are rapidly

growing. About 75 percent of Latin Americans currently live in urban areas, where the most kilometers of vehicle travel occur. Urban transport, therefore, represents a key sector for long-term GHG mitigation efforts in the region.

Despite the rapid growth in vehicle numbers, most Latin American cities are not yet locked into absolute automobile dependence. The current car ownership level of 100 vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants is still low compared to international standards and thus provides a great opportunity for maintaining the current modal split. Moreover, population density is still low near city centers, which represents an opportunity for land-use planning orientated toward public transport.

Project Overview:
The project is divided into a regional project and three country projects in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. The regional project focuses on capacity building (knowledge sharing, regional cooperation, and fostering of policies and guidelines). The country projects include technical assistance and pilot investments aimed at introducing and developing sustainable transport initiatives in 11 cities in these three countries. These actions will provide valuable lessons to inform and help develop appropriate policies at the national level.
The project includes the following activities:

  • Integration of land-use planning, transport, and environmental management
  • Design and implementation of TDM measures to rationalize the use of private cars, and create incentives for more widespread use of public transport and nonmotorized modes (car-free zones, car-free days, parking management plans, road-pricing schemes)
  • Management of freight transport
  • Improving public transport: pilot investments in public transport systems and/or improvement of the effectiveness and interconnectivity of those systems with other complementary modes of transport
  • Developing nonmotorized transport: pilot investments to better integrate walking and biking with current mass and public transport systems.

The project is expected to result in a direct reduction of 2.4 Mt CO2 during the timeframe of the project.