How a cost-benefit analysis can help reduce emissions in the transport sector

Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico
Green cities
One of the greatest challenges in formulating public policies is to transform technical information into practical inputs that enable to put in place strategies for emission reduction. The Cost Benefit Analysis tool developed by the CALAC+ programme makes it possible to evaluate different scenarios so that countries can decide which are the most advantageous economic and health measures to be adopted. 

CALAC+ supports governments to take action to reduce the emissions generated by the transport sector (low sulfur diesel buses, natural gas, electric vehicles, and others) and off-road mobile machinery (construction sector), by using the Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) tool that facilitates the processing of different scenarios. This allows the authorities to implement appropriate measures, relying on the fact that the future costs and benefits will be greater than the investment costs.  

The analysis takes into account the cost of implementing the regulations, including maintenance work for technological improvements to meet current standards. Furthermore, it shows the positive effects on the environment and the health of the population. In addition, there are savings in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Three tools that will change the air quality

The programme Climate and Clean Air Project in Latin American Cities (CALAC+) has developed three tools to assess emission reduction strategies and plans under the cost-benefit method. Although they are currently only available to the governments of the cities that the programme covers (Bogotá, Santiago de Chile, Lima, Mexico City). In the future, they will be adapted to be available to the general public on the programme's website.

1. The benefits of better air for people and the environment

This tool assesses the benefits and effects of changes in air quality on the environment and human health. For example, it analyses the effects on particulate matter concentrations in the environment and other metrics related to life expectancy.

2. Emission standards for non-road mobile machinery

This tool analyses the economic and environmental impacts of the emission standards introduced for agricultural and construction machinery. It allows the calculation of emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases, for example from a public vehicle fleet, and performs simulations with different scenarios of fleet growth and predicted emissions up to the year 2050.

3. Emission standards for new vehicle technologies

This tool examines the results of the transition to the new EURO 6 emission standards for new technologies, taking into account electric vehicles and energy labels. This will allow government stakeholders to calculate the emitted pollutants of light, medium and commercial vehicles and better assess the impact on people, the economy, and the environment.

"Clean air is a huge challenge for the big cities of Latin America, which requires tools and knowledge that CALAC+ provides: the project promotes the use of scientific methods, develops easy-to-use tools, trains technical staff, and raises awareness among institutions, government agencies and companies about climate and clean air. In this way, considerable success has already been achieved, and the importance of clean air is now widely recognised and in people's minds. "
Adrián Montalvo, Project manager CALAC+

Integrated tools for a comprehensive analysis

The air quality analysis tool (HEBASH) is integrated in both the emission standards analysis tool (HEMAQ) and the HETRANS tool. This allows for a comprehensive evaluation of the impacts.

Video: Coal and its effect on human health and the environment

CALAC+ is a programme of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and is implemented by Swisscontact.

Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru
Green cities
Climate and Clean Air project in Latin American Cities Plus (CALAC+)
The Paris Climate Agreement adopted in December 2015 provides a clear signal from countries towards reducing emissions and build resilience to climate change impacts within the transport sector.Thanks to its management and technical expertise, Switzerland contributes significantly to the transformation of cleaner transport in Latin American cities,...