In Washington: Patricia da Camara
In Mexico: Fernanda Zavaleta
WASHINGTON, December 28, 2009 – The World Bank approved a US$5.38 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for the Sustainable Transport and Air Quality Project in Mexico to be executed by the World Bank (WB).
The project will be implemented in Leon, Monterrey, Puebla and Ciudad Juarez, and fosters long-term increases in the patronage of less energy intensive transport modes so as to promote reductions in greenhouse gases emissions growth rates. It will also introduce policy changes in favor of sustainable transport projects.
Participating cities were selected through a competition in which 47 cities from 12 countries in Latin America participated as part of the GEF’s Regional Sustainable Transport and Air Quality Program, which is being implemented in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. An international committee evaluated the proposal on their technical merits, positive impacts, and the commitment shown by different stakeholders involved.
“Rapid growth places a tremendous strain on urban services, including the urban transport network, ultimately affecting both economic productivity and citizens’ quality of life,” said Gloria Grandolini, World Bank Director for Colombia and Mexico. “This project supports the correspondent states and the Mexican Government in its efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the transport sector, which accounts for 18 percent of Mexico’s total greenhouse emissions,” she added.
The Regional Project will focus on monitoring, developing methodologies and toolkits, and dissemination of lessons learned towards strengthening the capacity of specific cities to be able to develop comprehensive strategies to promote sustainable transport.
The Clean Air Strategy for Latin American Cities seeks to improve air quality and to mitigate climate change to protect people’s health and to improve quality of life in the cities.
This GEF grant will co-finance studies and technical assistance that will help prepare projects in the aforementioned cities in order for them to be easily eligible for funding from the National Mass Transit Program and the Urban Transport Transformation Program. In this sense, GEF’s funds are used as “seed” or preparation funds to leverage projects that can be financed by these instruments so as to tackle environmental problems in view for an environmental transport system.
Among expected outcomes are:
- Increase in number of trips in public transportation in intervened corridors;
- Increase in number of non motorized trips in intervened areas;
- Decrease of CO2-equivalent tons emitted by ground transport in intervened corridors; and
- Increase in number of cities that are integrating environment and climate change components as a priority.
To achieve these outcomes, the project will provide technical assistance and research in order to:
· Improve the planning, management, financing and control of freight transport;
· Address and suggest measures to mitigate barriers that impede a proper transport and land use integration;
· Improve the institutional and regulatory framework, and to define the state government and municipal roles related to the planning, management and implementation or integrated and sustainable systems for urban transport; and
· Introduce and promote walking and the use of bicycles as a viable and safe alternative to the use of private cars or other traditional motorized transport systems.
The project will be implemented by the Social Development Secretariat and the National Bank for Works and Public Services has been designated as the financial agent. The total cost of the project is US$36.96 million. The Bank will finance US$5.38 million and the government counterpart US$31.55 million. The project will be executed within a four year period and its implementation deadline is December 30, 2013.
What is the GEF?
An independent financial organization, the GEF provides grants to developing countries and countries with economies in transition for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. These projects benefit the global environment, linking local, national, and global environmental challenges and promoting sustainable livelihoods.
The World Bank Group is one of GEF’s implementing agencies and supports countries in preparing GEF co-financed projects and supervises their implementation. The Bank plays a primary role in ensuring investment projects management and development. The Bank invest in eligible countries based on its own experience in such countries, to promote investment opportunities and mobilize private sector, bilateral, multilateral, and other government and non-government sector resources, consistent with GEF’s objectives and national sustainable development strategies.
For more information on the project, please click here.
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