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Implementing Vertical NAMAs to Reduce Transportation GHGs

As part of the second Mitigation Action Implementation Network (MAIN) dialogue in Asia, Transportation Policy Analyst Chuck Kooshian presented “A Vertical NAMA for Sustainable Urban Development.” He discussed the importance of urban form (i.e. the physical layout and design of a city) in reducing energy use from transportation and some of the possible hurdles involved when creating a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) to address this issue.

There are at least five factors that need to be considered when building sustainable urban development and travel-efficient communities with low transport greenhouse gas emissions:

  • Density
  • Diversity
  • Design
  • Destinations
  • Distance to transit service

Any policy that hopes to affect all these variables must operate at multiple levels and through multiple players.  In the preceding presentation Konrad von Ritter, a CCAP consultant, described what he called a “Vertical NAMA.” This was his term for NAMA designs that coordinate national policy with local implementation, combining tangible results within a broader strategic framework.  Building on this idea, CCAP presented a concept called a Sustainable Urban Development (SUD) NAMA.

This concept is being discussed in the nation of Colombia, in talks with multiple ministries and local government agencies. The NAMA addresses various financial and institutional barriers to SUD investment, to reduce real and perceived risks. It links long-range plans and a supportive regulatory framework to new public revenue streams that support SUD, in order to send a signal on the stability of financing and policy, showing that SUD markets will endure over the long term and generate sustained profitability.  In addition, there is an emphasis on measuring progress, economic and environmental benefits, and enhancing capacity to collect the appropriate data to assess and improve performance.

The model being discussed in Colombia is informed by the different roles and responsibilities of national and local governments in transportation and land use planning, regulation and implementation. It starts with national level capacity building programs that offer guidance and policy direction for creating and evaluating good sustainable urban development projects.  At the local level, the level at which SUD communities and neighborhoods are planned and implemented, the NAMA offers financial assistance passed through a financial entity that can be replenished with value captured from the real estate development component of the SUD.

It is hoped that this example of a vertical NAMA will help clarify the concept and lead to well designed NAMAs that function at the national and local levels both for transport and land use and in other sectors.

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