Climate Change Programs Like Colombia’s Transit Initiative to be Unveiled in Copenhagen this Week

5.13.13

PRESS ADVISORY
May 13, 2013

Contact: Star Dodd, Communications Director
sdodd@ccap.org | 202.621.5665

Jeffrey Birnbaum
jbirnbaum@bgrpr.com | 202.661.6367

 

Climate Change Programs Like Colombia’s Transit Initiative to be Unveiled in Copenhagen this Week

Officials from Dozens of Nations Meet to Advance Home Grown Ideas

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 13, 2013 – The government of Colombia will present an innovative transit hub program at the CCAP Global NAMA Financing Summit in Copenhagen this week to senior representatives from developing countries and international financial institutions. The Colombia program is one of dozens of so-called NAMAs, nationally appropriate mitigation actions, which will be spotlighted at the summit because they cut greenhouse gas emissions and create local jobs.

NAMAs are the newest win-win trend in climate change policy. The Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) has worked over the last year to develop the Colombia transportation NAMA, which will include low-income housing, retail outlets and easy access to mass transit. CCAP’s hope is to use these examples to create a new model of urban development and air-pollution mitigation in places like Colombia.

The Colombian NAMA would transform cities by focusing urban development around “transit-oriented development” (TOD) to increase ridership and yield a host of economic and social benefits. Data from Washington, D.C. show people in transit neighborhoods drive 30-70 percent less than the regional average.

The TOD NAMA will capitalize on Colombia’s new public-private partnership legislation by provide additional incentives to develop vibrant transit neighborhoods that will enhance economic prosperity, save Colombians time and money on travel, reduce government infrastructure costs, increase returns for real estate and retail, and improve the financial sustainability of transit operators. By changing long-term land use patterns, the TOD NAMA will cut growth in driving sharply, ensuring lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions for decades.

In November 2012, CCAP hosted a delegation of Colombian officials on a study tour of the Washington, D.C., region to understand how local governments partnered with the private sector (real estate developers and store owners) to create dynamic, efficient transit neighborhoods. The Columbia Heights neighborhood was of particular interest.

Last month, a senior advisor to the president of Colombia publicly supported the TOD NAMA. He and other officials expressed their excitement about the prospect of moving ahead with a project that bolsters urban transit, low-income housing, environmental protection and the local economy.

NAMAs are public-private partnerships that promote sustainable development, reduce poverty and cut greenhouse gas emissions – and thus mitigate global warming – in developing nations where air pollution is often at its worst. Developed nations provide seed money for NAMAs. NAMAs, which are custom tailored to each developing country’s needs, will begin receiving funding from the United Kingdom and Germany in September. The Copenhagen summit is meant to create additional opportunities in this growing method of climate finance around the globe.

If you wish to discuss this win-win trend in climate change mitigation, please contact Star Dodd (sdodd@ccap.org / 202.492.2210) or Jeffrey Birnbaum (jbirnbaum@bgrpr.com / 202.661.6367). They can put you in touch with Ned Helme of CCAP and leading advocates of NAMAs from both developed and developing nations.

An op-ed by Helme explains NAMAs and their huge potential. CCAP’s blog also has useful information about NAMAs.

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