Low carbon programme
From 2010 to 2013, ten Asian cities took part in the Asian Institute of Technology’s Low Carbon Programme. Supported by ADEME, they were provided with assistance to implement concrete actions.
Asia’s citizens account for half the world’s population. Asian countries’ economic activity now represents 27% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), and that figure is set to reach 50% by 2050. Asia, driven by massive economic growth, is also having to confront the challenges of climate change. It now generates one third of the planet’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The cities, where the most polluting activities are concentrated, have a role to play in reducing GHG emissions. With ADEME’s support, the Low Carbon Programme implemented by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok helped cities with a population of under half a million to acquire the technical means and human resources to respond to the challenges of climate change. Between 2010 and 2013, 10 cities in Laos, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam were provided with support to implement local solutions. “Their aim was to reduce their consumption of natural resources, including energy, and to develop new approaches to consumption and travel”, explains Aurélie Bernard, responsible for Asia at ADEME’s International Affairs Division. Several tools developed by ADEME in France, such as the Bilan Carbone® and the PCET (Local Climate-Energy Plan), were used by these Asian cities involved in the Low Carbon Programme to determine the sources of their GHG emissions and develop their own action plans.
Some cities, like Chau Doc, Da Nang and Hue in Vietnam, and Kandy and Kurunegala in Sri Lanka, developed climate and energy plans based on national GHG emission reduction targets. These initiatives generated awareness among numerous local stakeholders (elected officials, municipal technical staff, economic agents and citizens), of the challenges of climate change and encouraged the adoption of best environmental practice. Several of them received training in how to use the Bilan Carbone® and the PCET. “There was an exchange of experience with French cities, such as Grenoble, Mulhouse and Nantes, which explained to their Asian counterparts what actions they had implemented as a result of using these methods. ADEME brought on board engineering firms and municipalities to provide their expertise to the Asian stakeholders concerned”, added Aurélie Bernard. On completion of the programme, several of the cities involved had set GHG emission reduction targets: Kandy and Chau Doc, for example, aim to reduce their emissions by 16% by 2025. Other cities, like Luang Prabang in Laos, have developed pilot waste management actions. Some cities may even apply in partnership with European cities for the 6th call for proposals of the European SWITCH-Asia 2014 programme designed to promote the consumption and production of durables in Asia. Between now and then, the remarkable results achieved under the Low Carbon Programme will be honoured at the World Eco-City Summit in Nantes in September 2013.