In 2013, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation launched the project of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) "Reducing GHG emissions from road transport in Russian cities."
The main objective of the project is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from road transport and to demonstrate the possibilities of creating smart low-carbon transport systems. One of the most important tasks - to tell the Russians about the benefits of sustainable transport.
Deputy Project Manager Rimma Filippova told the Russian Climate portal about the plans and progress of the project.
What does ‘sustainable transport’ mean?
A sustainable transport system - a state of a transport system, which ensures socially and economically viable level of traffic, without compromising human health and the environment, and not violating the rights of present and future generations.
If the development of urban transport in Russia will continue under the current scenario, we can expect further growth of car use and reduce the share of public transport in passenger transportation.
For residents of Russian cities there are a few options of energy-efficient transportation. As a rule, residents are choosing between public transport and private cars. Mostly, the choice determined by the cost and convenience, rather than the fuel efficiency and economic characteristics of a vehicle.
Wealthy urban residents prefer private transport, which in many cases has a significant fuel consumption. Many people buy large "lux" class cars with powerful engines on the secondary market.
Citizens neglect public transport for a variety of reasons. Including large intervals in the public transport’s traffic, and poor quality of service, inconvenient routes or their complete absence.
At the same time, no one discuss publicly the possibility of choice in favor of public and energy efficient urban transport. Therefore, the citizens of our country have little idea of a modern and sustainable transport.
UNDP project for sustainable transport development
Tell us more about your program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars.
We want to raise the awareness of citizens, including the car owners, about the benefits of low-carbon transport. The project involves:
- Pilot actions in Kazan for the integrated planning of the transport system and the creation of conditions for the transition to more efficient and environmentally friendly modes of transport, including electric vehicles and hybrids;
- Carrying out pilot activities in Kaliningrad on the planning and creation of a stable trunk line of urban passenger transport, presentation of eco-vehicles;
- Assistance in the development of the legal framework to support the vehicles with low emissions and sustainable systems of public transport in medium-sized cities of Russia;
- Conducting public seminars about the success of our projects in Kazan and Kaliningrad.
The Russian Ministry of Transport serves as a national implementing partner of the project and is responsible for the overall planning and control of project activities. United Nations Development Programme is responsible for the full implementation of the Project, the performance of activities, supervision, monitoring and evaluation of the project, reporting to the GEF.
Tell us about the current results of the project. Do you have any achievements?
There are many of them! Firstly, in cooperation with the Administration of Kazan, we are developing a complex scheme of traffic of the city for 2014 - 2020, with the outlook for 2030. The main purpose of our work is to meet the transport needs of the city with minimal costs and maximum safety.
In particular, it provides measures to collect data on the status of road safety in Kazan; determination of directions of development of transport system of the city; development of targeted measures to improve traffic management; the development scheme of the dislocation of traffic signs, traffic lights, road marking, etc .; Forecast changes in performance of the transport system, evaluation of the economic impact and the urban environment.
This scheme contains a set of interrelated evidence-based concrete actions and recommendations on the organization of traffic, qulity, accessibility, efficiency improvement for the transport system of the city, preventing traffic jams ensuring the road safety, reduce of harmful effects of transport on the environment, taking into account economically justified investments.
Up to now, we carried out all the stages of the work, including acceptance of the results for the scheme. Based on its results they will amend local laws concerning the land use and development.
Secondly, together with the Administration of the city of Kaliningrad, we are working at a comprehensive strategy for developing of the urban passenger transport untill 2020, taking into account the implementation of tasks to ensure the transport needs of the FIFA World Cup 2018. As of today, we completed and accepted by 6 of 7 stages of this work.
In addition, we have a joint project together with "Executive Directorate of preparation for the World Cup 2018 in the Kaliningrad region". We are developing an operational transport master plan for the Championship events and the management plan transportation in the city of Kaliningrad in view of the formation of the ecological heritage.
We finished works on the introduction of the "eco-labeling" for newly registered and operated vehicles in Russia.
It is a system of measures (use of special labels, declarations, newsletters, electronic chips, databases, special marks in the registration documents, etc.), providing information on environmental and energy performance of vehicles, their carbon dioxide emissions and other related useful information to interested persons and organizations.
In 2014, the project has been approved as an official national coordinator of the European Mobility Week from Russian side. Accordingly, our project has attracted Russian cities to take part in European Mobility Week (16-22 September 2015.), and the World Car- Free Day (22 September 2015.). Each year the campaign is dedicated to various topics related to raising public awareness of the problems of excessive amounts of road transport and air pollution in cities. In 2015, the official members of the European Mobility Week in Russian included 35 cities.
For comparison, in 2013 only 2 cities officially participated in the campaign and 16 in 2014. More than forty cities in Russia held events dedicated to the World Car- Free Day without official registration.
Every year, our project provides training in eco-driving in driving schools and Russian motor plants in Kaliningrad and Kazan. We engage experienced professionals being for coaching. In addition, we hold conferences, seminars and trainings in the pilot cities of the project.
Propects of sustainable transport systems in Russia
Are there prospects for the transfer of vehicles to natural gas? Whether it is more environmentally friendly than gasoline?
In 2013, the project has developed a set of measures aimed at creating conditions for the gradual replacement of vehicles of public road transport vehicles running on NGV fuel, and to stimulate the development of appropriate infrastructure.
Russia is the twentieth in the world according to its NGVs’ number of and the second, according to the CNG number in cities. The environmental factor is extremely important for large cities with heavy traffic.
In the Transport Strategy of the Russian Federation until 2030 there is a direct task to provide "motivation for vehicles to shift to clean fuels", not derived from petroleum. This task determines a target indicator - increase in the share of alternative fuels in the total fuel consumption of motor vehicles up to 35%, and even up to 50% in big cities.
To reach a stable climate impact of road transport transition to natural gas, we should to achieve a further improvement in fuel efficiency of vehicles powered by natural gas by 15-20% in the next decade.
By reducing greenhouse gas emissions of road transport, along with the use of natural gas, it is possible to achieve the improvement of the vehicles’ construction (the use of turbocharging, lean, and others.).
The Russian government should adopt a national program for the reduction of CO2 emissions and improving the fuel efficiency of motor vehicles to give a technical benchmark to both the automobile and fuel industries, motor complex, federal, regional and local authorities responsible for the development of roads and road infrastructure. It should be done ensuring the principle of equal state, industry, user and supplier of fuels responsibility.
When the transport system of Russia will be sustainable?
Over the past decade, many Russian cities faced with the traffic issues. Traffic jams - a consequence of the increasing car use, and reducing the share of public transport in the urban transport sector.
The international expert community recognizes that one of the most effective measures to improve the conditions of traffic in the cities is to develop and improve the quality of public transport services.
Once the urban passenger transport will be convenient, comfortable, clear, accessible, and will, in particular, comply with environmental requirements; as soon as the use of private vehicles as the main means of urban mobility is in decline, and people will think about the ecology of their cities, and will give preference to alternative forms of transport (cycling, walking, etc.), the system will be sustainable.
In addition, the effective functioning and development of public transport is only possible if the regulatory framework governing the managing the passenger traffic, with the government regulation playing a key role.