Evaluation of transport interventions in developing countries

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Kerstin Robertson
Annika K Jägerbrand

International climate policy and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the Kyoto Protocol include different mechanisms or programmes for actions in developing countries aimed at reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). To verify compliance, the effects of such actions, including transport measures, need to be measured, reported and verified (MRV). However, in relation to other sectors very few transport-related projects have been initiated. Potential problems and ambiguities related to the current evaluation methodology were therefore investigated as a possible explanation for the low interest in investments in the transport sector. Other objectives of this study were to analyse the requirements for development and improvement of methods for evaluating the effects of transport policies and measures on emissions of greenhouse gases in developing countries. The analyses includes a review of different climate mechanisms, for example applied within the UNFCCC, evaluation requirements and methodologies used, the general availability of methods for evaluation of traffic and transportation, evaluation data availability, and institutional conditions in developing countries. The main conclusions are that measuring traffic and transportation is generally a complex and demanding process, and the potential for misinterpretation of results is significant. In addition, there is a significant risk of rebound effects, especially for transport projects in developing countries aiming at modal shift. Furthermore, it seems that very short time frames are applied for evaluation of project-based mechanisms in the transport sector. Other challenges relate to institutional roles and responsibilities, the availability of personal and financial resources, and the knowledge and perspectives applied. Based on these limitations regarding transport project evaluations, further development of transport-related climate mechanisms towards a more sectoral and transformational perspective is suggested.

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