Need for Assessment
Concerns in developing countries exist regarding the costs imposed by mitigation targets and their impact on economic growth (Olsen 2013). The “co-benefits approach” helps identify actions that balance the short-term development concerns with long-term goals of climate change mitigation (IGES 2011; Creutzig and He 2009). Opportunities exist to mitigate GHG emissions from India's transport sector and facilitate sustainable mobility by integrating transportation policies with environment, development, and climate change policies. Key interventions include reducing travel demand through planning and sustainability measures, a shift of passenger and freight transport from road-based modes to rail and from private transport to public transport and non-motorized transport in cities, and increase penetration of alternate fuels and vehicles including electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. These measures will also diversify the fuel mix with a higher share of electricity, natural gas, and biofuel (Dhar et al. 2013).
The sustainability focus is evident in policies of the Government of India. For instance, India's National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) highlights a mix of measures, including higher share of public transport, penetration of biofuels, and significant improvements in vehicle efficiency (GoI 2008). Several cities are proactively initiating infrastructure investments in mass transit, urban planning for better land use transport integration, and upgrading existing public transport. These policies and interventions have reduced GHG emissions and at the same time have delivered social and environmental benefits. Since these are limited to few cities, they have not realized the desired mitigation potential. Evidently, there is scope for replication to deliver higher emission reduction and deliver wide-ranging economic, social, and environmental benefits.
At the same time, some of these initiatives are beset with challenges during planning and implementation. It is essential to carry out a comprehensive assessment of good practices for three reasons: (1) this assessment can help highlight the mitigation potential and other benefits to guide policy makers in replication or scaling up, (2) it can highlight unique approaches or co-benefits, and (3) it can help understand challenges during planning and implementation which can be integrated during the next stage to avoid adverse impacts post-implementation.
For instance, the successful implementation of the Auto Fuel Policy 2003 catalyzed the development of a roadmap for further improvement till 2025. The success of transport initiatives in cities can facilitate cross-learning among subnational governments and help to bring in measures early. As an example, successful implementation of a mass transit system in a city can deliver useful lessons to subnational governments on developing mobility plans and leveraging finance for implementation. It is essential therefore to take critical and comprehensive assessment of objectives and impacts to guide future policies to better align these with development goals.
The central idea of this chapter is to look at selected case studies and highlight the success factors and critically examine issues in order to make informed decisions for replication in future. The paper is divided into four sections. After the introduction section, the second section outlines the key transport policies and plans in India. These include existing and proposed policies, planned investments including major infrastructure projects, and urban initiatives. A detailed assessment of case studies is described in Sect. 8.3. The final section concludes with the key highlights from the case study assessment.