Climate and Clean Air project in Latin American Cities Plus (CALAC+)

The Programme Climate and Clean Air in Latin American Cities (CALAC+) pursues a vision of healthier cities that reduce their emissions of short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon, atmospheric gases and greenhouse gases, by promoting a shift towards soot-free and low-carbon urban buses and off-road machinery. 
Santiago, Chile
Bogotá, Colombia
Lima, Peru
Mexico City, Mexico
Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru
Project duration
2018 - 2021
Financed by
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC

The project

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, to achieve the reduction of short-lived climate pollutants such as black coal and greenhouse gas emissions, promoting the transfer of knowledge and experience with a North-South and South-South regional and international cooperation approach.

The overall objective of CALAC+ is to reduce harmful air pollutants in Latin American capitals through the deployment of soot-free engines in urban public transport and off-road machinery to protect human health and mitigate climate change.

The project pursues a vision of healthier and more sustainable cities that seek to reduce emissions of black carbon and other pollutants by encouraging a shift to soot-free, low-carbon city buses and off-road machinery

Soot-free and low-carbon buses

Ensure that emissions of ultrafine particulate matter, black carbon and greenhouse gases from urban public transport systems are significantly and sustainably reduced through technical assistance. Support to improve legal frameworks, environmental and transport regulations (at municipal and national levels), investment planning and institutional capacity building by creating conducive conditions to the establishment of soot-free and low-carbon technologies.

Incubators of urban policies for off-road machinery

Support the development of intelligent policies for a significant reduction of ultrafine particles, black carbon and greenhouse gases from off-road urban machinery (construction and industry sectors), emissions that are not yet regulated in Latin America, but which contribute strongly to poor air quality, negative impacts on human health and climate change.

Global knowledge management network

Sharing, both regionally (Latin America) and globally, a systematized experience on successful policies, cost-effective actions and technologies to reduce fuel consumption, air pollution and carbon emissions in the urban context. Good practices and lessons learned will be made available through existing networks and platforms, such as CCAC (Climate & Clean Air Coalition) and OECD. The creation of a roster of experts in Latin America is also envisaged to promote South-South and trilateral cooperation.




  • More than 130 people participated in the International Conference on nanoparticle emissions in internal combustion engines, which included a meeting of 23 people between decision makers and experts to share experiences and generate synergies.
  • A technical committee was established to work on inputs for determining nanoparticle measurement procedures and particle number limit values as a proposal for formulating the country's regulations for vehicles in circulation.
  • The first inventory of off-road machinery emissions in Colombia and Peru was constructed, and the inventory in Chile was updated.
  • Six guides were prepared for the characterisation and construction of the off-road machinery inventory and emissions inventory and a guide on diesel particulate filters (DPF) was created. The guides have been shared with public officials in the programme's member cities.
  • 39 people, including decision makers and international experts, participated in the International Seminar on Soot-Free Construction Machinery.
  • More than 30 public officials were trained in cost-benefit analysis, EURO VI/6 technologies.
  • A cost-benefit study was conducted for the Ministry of the Environment of Peru, where it has been estimated that if the EURO VI/6 regulations were to be incorporated in 2021, for each sol invested, a benefit of approximately 2.6 soles would be generated, mainly impacting the health of 78% of the population of Lima and Callao due to exposure to a lower level of pollution.
  • In the case of the city of Santiago de Chile, work is underway on a study of the Total Operating Costs (TOC) and a life cycle analysis of the transport system to compare the advantages of EURO VI/6 and electromobility.
  • Similarly, in Bogota a tool is being developed to calculate the emissions associated with the operation of off-road machinery, which will allow the different existing technologies to be compared for more conscious purchasing decisions.

Project links


Colombia, Peru
Latin America: challenges in urban transport due to nanoparticles
One of the main causes of air pollution is vehicle traffic. Vehicles emit ultra-small, highly toxic nanoparticles. Swisscontact has many years’ experience in transport and environmental projects. As part of the Climate and Clean Air in Latin American Cities (CALAC+) programme, Swisscontact is collaborating with local decision-makers in Latin...
Peru, Colombia
1st Latin American Conference on nanoparticle emissions
The 1st Latin American Conference on nanoparticle emissions from internal combustion engines was held from 15 to 17 October in Mexico City. The organization was in charge of the Secretariat of the Environment of the Government of Mexico City (SEDEMA), an effort supported by the Program Climate and Clean Air in Latin American Cities - Plus (CALAC+).