Carbon and water footprint assessments in three Andean cities : Phase 2

Carbon and water footprint assessments in three Andean cities : Phase 2

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Project detail:
Status: Completed
Tags: carbon, carbon footprint, cities, mitigation, waste, sustainable water management

With the aim of promoting low carbon and climate resilient development in cities, CDKN worked with the municipalities of Quito (Ecuador), La Paz (Bolivia) and Lima (Peru) in the Cities Footprint Project in 2012-14. This initial phase of the project developed participatory carbon and water footprint assessments at both local government and community levels. The results of these assessments led to the development of various Action Plans for each municipality, along with specific footprint reduction targets. Actions were implemented with the aim of reducing both carbon and water footprints.

The Cities Footprint Project found that citywide carbon and water footprints assessments had “proven useful for decision-making in urban planning and management to help define footprint-reduction goals and project portfolios.”

As a result of project implementation, demand for similar assistance has arisen in several cities in the region – a clear signal of the success of the project. The team pinpointed the following positive impacts as instrumental to triggering wider demand in the region.

  • Mayors and other high-level officials in the three cities are talking in terms of footprints and how having generated carbon and water use data – data which didn’t exist before - enables more informed decision-making oriented towards climate compatible development.
  • La Paz – the mayor publicly hosted an event where he presented the 10 actions to reduce municipal government footprints, provisioning investments in prioritised areas such as the municipal slaughterhouse. He and other high-level city officials were satisfied with the results of the project, since it confirms that current efforts in transport, residential and waste sectors were well-directed, not only from the traditional standpoint of development, but also for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • Quito – the Footprint ‘language’ has been appropriated by the mayor and high-level city officials, and has influenced various city plans related to water, land use, and carbon in forests. Offset mechanisms for the carbon and water footprints in the city, developed with public and private actors, are in a design phase. The project also catalysed the mayor’s proposal to create public-private partnerships as a strategy for city development, and companies on the frontline of climate change efforts have been officially recognised. The city set a target to reduce its carbon footprint by 10% by 2015.
  • Lima – during preparations for the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP20) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2014, the Cities Footprint Project organised events with Peru’s Ministry of Environment; the UNFCCC’s COP20 agenda was influenced by including ‘Cities’ as one of the five main topics of discussion. The project is believed to have influenced the decision to launch the National Programme for Sustainable Cities by the Ministry of Environment. Finally, financing for urban climate compatible development projects is starting to gain momentum with the municipal government.

In its second phase the project scaled-up the Action Plans that originated from the first phase of the project. Some examples of these Action Plans are:

  • In Quito, the project promoted the design and implementation of a water footprint offset mechanism. Here, companies were encouraged to finance water conservation projects, administered by the National Water Fund, in order to offset their water footprints.
  • Among peri-urban neighbourhoods in La Paz, the project rolled-out an agriculture and waste management initiative as a means to reduce the carbon footprint generated from domestic waste.

The project has produced a Spanish language toolkit, presenting the methodologies used for the carbon and water footprint and the results of its application.

A background on the findings of the first phase – including profiles of the carbon and water footprints of each of the three cities, can be found through the following links (in Spanish) to CDKN Inside Stories on climate compatible development:

Partners: CAF (co-funding), La Paz, Quito y Lima Municipalities

Supplier: Servicios Ambientales S.A. de Bolivia (SASA)

Project funding: £75,000