Greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries are increasing most rapidly in the transportation sector. Even people with low incomes are meeting their need for mobility, and projected income growth over the next two decades suggests that many more will acquire personal modes of transportation. How this will affect the earth's climate is a great concern.
In Delhi, India, transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions are expected to soar. There are policy and technology choices that could significantly lower the emissions growth rate while increasing mobility, improving air quality, reducing traffic congestion, and lowering transport and energy costs. To realize these benefits, vision, leadership, and political will must be brought to bear. Delhi has high vehicle ownership rates for the city's income level, increasing congestion, poor air quality, poor safety conditions, and insufficient coordination among the responsible government institutions. Travelers in Delhi desire transportation services, reflected by the increasing numbers of inexpensive but highly polluting scooters and motorcycles.
This report creates two scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions from Delhi's transportation sector in 2020. It finds:
•Greenhouse gas emissions quadruple in the high-GHG, or business-as-usual, scenario; but only double in the low scenario.
•Transportation policies are readily available that will not only slow emissions growth, but also significantly improve local environmental, economic, and social conditions.
•Improved technology would maximize the efficiency of automobiles, buses, and other modes of transportation and could play a key role in reducing emission increases.
•Keeping many travel mode options available – including minicars and new efficient scooters and motorcycles – will help individuals at various income levels meet their mobility needs.
•The time to act is now. The issues facing Delhi represent opportunities for improvement, but the longer authorities wait to address transportation inefficiencies, the more difficult and expensive it will be to produce a positive outcome.