Cities, transport and climate

Sunrise through the smog in Manila, the Philippines

As recently as the middle of the twentieth century, the urban population was only about one person in every three. Today it is already more than one in two, and by 2050 more than two thirds of all people will be living in towns and cities - while the global population continues to grow. There can be no doubt that this is the age of urbanisation.

There are many reasons why more and more people are being drawn into cities and why cities are often the drivers for economic development. But towns and cities are heating up the planet. They are already responsible for about 75 per cent of energy and resource consumption and energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Since, by 2050, over two billion more people compared to now will be living in cities, it is clear that global climate targets will only be achieved if sustainability becomes the focus of urban development.

This is particularly true with regard to urban transport and infrastructure. Because traffic and transport are responsible for a quarter of all energy-related greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Apartment block in Tirana, Albania

Sustainable urban planning

More people need more space to live. These growing urban populations will ratchet the construction of new housing and infrastructure up to levels that have never been seen before. If the cities of the future were to be built mainly from cement, steel and glass, like cities built in the past, the goals of the Paris Agreement - to limit the rise in global temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to no more than 1.5 degrees if possible - would fail to be achieved.

Building construction therefore needs to become more efficient, climate-friendly and resource-saving. One crucial point is that buildings in cities must use less energy. In 2010, buildings accounted for roughly one third of the world's energy demand and about one fifth of all energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Analyses have shown that, by retrofitting existing buildings and designing new ones that are energy-efficient, it will be possible to almost halve the energy consumption of buildings worldwide by 2050.

However, cities are not just drivers of climate change, they are also particularly affected by it. They often lie on coasts, rivers, deltas or mountain slopes and are thus exposed to huge risks. Economic damage caused by natural disasters is particularly extensive in cities and poorer inhabitants in particular are often entirely defenceless against extreme weather. Sustainable urban planning, investment in climate-resilient infrastructure and also simple measures such as creating urban green spaces can make a valuable contribution to significantly mitigating the adverse impacts of extreme weather events.

A crowd of people in the centre of Jakarta, Indonesia, on a car-free Sunday

Cities leading the way

The global climate and development goals that the international community agreed by adopting the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement can only be achieved by working hand in hand with the world's cities.

At the international level, for example at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York and under the framework of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), the crucial contribution which cities make towards adaptation to climate change and reducing greenhouse gases is therefore emphasised. Or, as the former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon put it: "Cities are where the battle for sustainable development will be won or lost."

And a UN Habitat study shows that two thirds of all Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) have an urban component. The NDCs are determined at the national level, often without cities being involved in any way.

That is why the Talanoa Dialogue was created at the 2017 climate summit in Bonn. This dialogue offers non-state and local actors a platform to showcase ideas for addressing global challenges relating to climate change. It offers national governments a framework within which to engage with their cities and municipalities in developing joint solutions. The advantages of such an approach and how to realise it are illustrated in the publication Talanoa and Beyond: Raising Ambition with Cities and Regions and in the Talanoa series on the URBANET blog.

Traffic in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam

Opportunities for cities

Because cities are densely populated, they can also exercise strong leverage in the battle against poverty, inequality and the excessive use of resources. The high number of inhabitants and the concentration of economic activities mean that relatively small changes can achieve big impacts, so that large amounts of resources can be saved, for example. Appropriate strategies can ensure that resource flows between cities and their environs can be used and managed more efficiently.

These days, many cities and metropolitan regions are in the vanguard of climate action and resource protection, with space-saving and compact urban structures, low-emission transport facilities, energy-efficient buildings and efficient waste disposal systems.

This has allowed cities such as Copenhagen, Stockholm and Tokyo to reduce their per capita carbon dioxide emissions, while prosperity and incomes have increased.

To help cities in developing and newly industrialising countries embark on a pathway of sustainable urban development at an early stage, Germany is promoting climate-friendly, safe and affordable urban mobility through its development cooperation.

Mobility is a prerequisite not just for economic growth, trade and creativity but also for personal wellbeing.

Many cities around the world will continue to suffer from traffic congestion, air pollution and noise if they fail to pursue sustainable traffic policies and if the number of vehicles per inhabitant continues to grow.

To support sustainable urban development, public transport needs to be promoted just as much as non-motorised transport, the poor must be involved to the same extent as the wealthy and the focus must switch to new environmentally friendly forms of mobility such as car sharing or car-pooling.

That is why, at the UN cities summit in Quito in late 2016, the BMZ launched TUMI, the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative. Through this initiative Germany is working with its partners to promote strategies for sustainable and innovative mobility in developing countries and emerging economies – for climate-friendly and liveable cities worldwide.

Participants of the Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador
German activities

Financing sustainable urban infrastructure

Investments in sustainable urban infrastructure are indispensable for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. Over the next 15 years an estimated 93 billion US dollars will need to be invested in sustainable infrastructure – with more than 70 per cent of the funds being invested in urban areas. That is more than 4.5 times the gross domestic product of the USA. In order to support cities in finding the funds needed to make these huge investments, Germany has launched the Leadership for Urban Climate Investments (LUCI) initiative with partners from all over the world.

LUCI will support the efforts of cities and municipalities in developing and emerging countries to develop bankable, climate-smart infrastructure projects, including through a new City Climate Finance Gap Fund that is to be used to mobilise up to four billion euros for climate-friendly infrastructure in cities. Furthermore, in collaboration with the cities network C40 and the Asian Development Bank, the BMZ has been supporting cities' efforts to prepare sustainable infrastructure projects for some time now.

An electric car is charged at a charging station in Berlin.
German activities

Climate-friendly urban development and mobility

One aim of German development cooperation is to promote liveable and climate-friendly cities through a transformation towards sustainable mobility. As emissions from urban traffic are continuing to grow, Germany is promoting urban development and mobility strategies at the national and municipal levels with which climate protection and the ability to adapt to the consequences of climate change will be strengthened.

The focus of these strategies is on avoiding traffic and switching from motorised personal transport to public urban passenger transport and non-motorised transport. The strategies also include, for example, making transport systems more environmentally friendly by promoting electric mobility.

In addition, the German government is supporting the expansion of modern, high-performing public transport systems like underground trains, trams and rapid transit bus networks, and the construction of integrated footpaths and cycle routes. These measures are intended to make affordable, safe and environmentally-friendly forms of transport accessible to all people.

Another focus area of German development cooperation is the development of infrastructure that can withstand the impacts of climate change. More than half of German financial cooperation in the field of adaptation to climate change is focused on cities. In the field of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, it is actually almost two thirds of German loans and grants that goes to cities.

The switch to sustainable, climate-friendly mobility around the world calls for broad alliances. The Action towards Climate-friendly Transport initiative (ACT), founded at the UN Climate Summit in 2019 in New York and supported by the BMZ, will help to speed up the transition to climate-friendly transport. The alliance of more than 100 members - national and local governments, municipal associations, multilateral organisations, NGOs and businesses - is thus helping with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and of the Paris Agreement. German support within the framework of this alliance is to be used, for example, to help prepare the procurement of 100,000 electric buses in developing and emerging countries.


Urban Mobility
Urban Mobility | Strategies for Liveable Cities

08/2016 | pdf | 5.8 MB | 24 P. | accessible My binder

Creating sustainable cities
Creating sustainable cities

05/2016 | pdf | 2.5 MB | 24 P. | accessible My binder

Open Streets 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa

Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI)

The rapid growth of cities and the rise in traffic volumes are contributing more and more to climate change. The transport sector accounts for 23 per cent of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and, at the same time, it is the sector with the fastest-growing emissions. Without a global transformation of the transport sector, it will not be possible to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

That is why, together with eight partner institutions, the BMZ launched the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI). The central focus of this mobility initiative is on promoting climate-friendly, safe and affordable urban mobility with a view to protecting the climate and simultaneously providing the poorest segments of the urban population with a means of access to work, health care and education. For people who live on the outskirts of a city or in the slums, areas with better infrastructure and services are very hard to reach without functioning local public transport or safe footpaths and cycle paths. These people are thus excluded from social and economic participation.

Since 2016, the initiative has been promoting sustainable mobility systems in developing countries and emerging economies, focusing on three priority areas:

  • TUMI mobilises financial and technical support for the construction and expansion and for the modernisation of sustainable urban mobility infrastructure. So far, under the new initiative, almost two billion euros has been invested in projects like local public transport in Rio de Janeiro, Tunis and Nagpur.
  • Within the space of two years, TUMI has already trained more than 2,000 urban leaders, decision-makers, planners and students, so as to make expertise available for implementing sustainable mobility projects.
  • TUMI is promoting innovative solutions, for instance with the help of the Global Urban Mobility Challenge. Through this competition, which is open to entries from all over the world, 20 cities are currently being encouraged to address local mobility challenges and implement ambitious pilot projects like bike-sharing, making pedestrianised areas, using electrically operated transport vehicles and going digital for the local public transport system.
Construction site for a new subway line in Delhi, India

TUMI the groundbreaker: Global German involvement in urban mobility

India is on all counts one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases and, although it is still in the early stages of a boom in urbanisation, the country is already grappling with problems caused by enormous population growth and high rates of vehicle ownership.

In Nagpur, in the centre of India, TUMI is supporting via KfW Development Bank the construction of an elevated metro line which, once it is completed, will transport half a million passengers each day.

By putting solar panels on station roofs, recycling waste water and using rainwater, the running of the elevated metro line will be made especially environmentally friendly. Footpaths and cycle paths are being built near the stations and bike sharing schemes have been set up. A network of bus routes to bring people to the metro stations is planned, so as to connect the new line with other transport systems. This way a user-friendly, integrated local public transport system is being set up.

In Bogotá in Colombia, TUMI is supporting the development of an app called SafetiPin, which collects mobility data in the city with a view to improving the safety of women and girls.

In addition, TUMI has carried out numerous workshops and training measures in various countries, for example in Namibia, Colombia, Thailand and China. So far, more than 2,000 participants, mainly from transport ministries or urban transport authorities, have been reached.

GIZ event "Open Streets Exchange" in Cape Town, South Africa

TUMI Women Mobilize Women conference

The TUMI "Women Mobilize Women" conference managed to set an international debate in motion around the role and potential of women in the field of urban mobility.

The conference "Women Mobilize Women" in May 2018 started the ball rolling: the TUMI conference in the run-up to the World Transport Conference in Leipzig brought together women from all around the world to discuss the situation, opportunities and challenges facing women in the transport sector and give them a voice. Together with the exclusively female panel, a sight not ever seen before in the transport sector, participants discussed questions around safety in public places, empowering decision-makers, and the social and economic impacts of ambitious, gender-sensitive transport planning.

The conference made its mark on the international debate about the role of women from the field of mobility, making a logo of "Women Mobilize Women": TUMI Women Mobilize Women is now a network that makes knowledge available and promotes the empowerment of women through further regional conferences and networks in Africa and Latin America.

Participants at the "Women Mobilize Women Conference 2018" in Leipzig, Germany
  • View of Beira, Mozambique
    Mozambique: cooperation in action

    Rebuilding Beira after Cyclone Idai struck

    The city of Beira lies in a bay in the centre of Mozambique. The local people there are already feeling the effects of climate change due to their immediate proximity to the Indian Ocean. Thus the city found itself in March 2019 faced with the challenge of rebuilding urban infrastructure following the devastation wrought by Cyclone Idai.

  • Building a new road in Khulna, Bangladesh
    Bangladesh: cooperation in action

    Adapting cities to climate change

    For Bangladesh, climate change is creating huge challenges: rising sea levels threaten to leave one fifth of the country permanently under water.

  • EcoCasas in Mexico
    Mexico: cooperation in action

    Living better with less energy

    Half a million new housing units are being built in Mexico every year; eight per cent of the population works in the construction industry. The country's energy consumption is rising steadily, with private households accounting for around 17 per cent of total usage.

  • The new tramway in Rio de Janeiro
    Brazil: cooperation in action

    New local rail services in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador da Bahía

    In 2010, 84 per cent of all Brazilians were living in cities, in 1940 the urban population was only 30 per cent of the total. Even though local public transport networks are growing, there is still a long way to go before the services meet people's needs.

  • Bus in Windhoek
    Namibia: cooperation in action

    Experts sought for sustainable transport planning

    Namibia urgently needs skilled experts in order to further expand its transport sector. The young Namibian Immanuel Johannes has a university degree in civil engineering and has recently begun working as a junior traffic planner in Windhoek.

View of Beira, Mozambique
Mozambique: cooperation in action

Beira: Rebuilding green urban infrastructure after Cyclone Idai struck

Between a bay on the Indian Ocean and the mouth of the Pungwe River halfway along the coast of Mozambique lies the city of Beira. The local people benefit from the city's closeness to the water: the big harbour and fishing are a source of profit for the local economy. However, the immediate proximity of the ocean also has its dangers. For example, Beira often suffers flooding due to heavy rainfall and storm surges.

Informal settlements next to the historic city centre are particularly at risk. One such settlement is Goto, on the bank of the Rio Chiveve.

Chaimel Calido, an 18 year-old apprentice, says that the rainfalls that regularly flood the settlement have become much worse in recent years. "We have to walk through the mud to go to work, but we don't have any rubber boots. The children get sick with diarrhoea, headaches and malaria." That is because, apart from the destruction of homes and infrastructure by the floods, the repeated heavy rainfall also encourages the transmission of diseases such as malaria and cholera.

In order to lower the risk of flooding and other impacts of climate change in Beira, projects financed under German development cooperation via KfW Development Bank and the World Bank since 2013 have been improving and expanding Beira's rainwater drainage systems. The main drainage channels have been comprehensively overhauled and new ones have been built. Furthermore, flood protection systems have been installed and a retention basin has been built.

Restoring the natural course of the river

A 3.7 kilometre stretch of the tidal Rio Chiveve, which flows through the centre of Beira, has been widened, with the river bed being dredged and cleared of waste and sediment, and the area being replanted with mangroves in order to strengthen the city's natural drainage system. The natural course of the river has thus been restored.

In addition, a tidal barrage has been constructed and the river's connection to the Indian Ocean has been re-opened. As a result, rainwater in the upper reaches of the river and thus also in the Goto settlement can now flow more rapidly into the sea.

In the long term the natural drainage system of the Chiveve will help with the adaptation of the city of Beira to climate-induced changes like heavy rainfall and the rise in sea levels. The project is thus laying the groundwork for further development of the entire inner-city area. What is more, the measure is helping to counteract the spread of diseases, since it means less pollution and less stagnant water.

Creating parks from green spaces

In a second phase, the green spaces along the banks of the Chiveve, which are mainly wasteland, are now being rehabilitated in collaboration with the World Bank. The plan is to turn these spaces into public parks that can be used commercially, for example by building playgrounds and sports fields, an open-air theatre, an events centre, a restaurant and sanitation facilities.

In addition, in order to expand the shopping options for local communities, the project plans include a market in the immediate vicinity of the city centre and the bus station. At the same time there are also measures to improve the mobility of the urban population: since the middle of 2018, roughly 5.5 kilometres of cycle and footpaths have been completed and several bridges have been built in order to improve the links to the city centre along the length of the river.

In March 2019, the central region of Mozambique was struck by cyclone Idai. The BMZ therefore made an additional 26 million euros available to Mozambique in order to support the population and rebuild infrastructure that had been destroyed. With wind speeds that reached up to 170 kilometres an hour, the cyclone completely destroyed large parts of the city centre of Beira, which were also under water for several days. Across the country the disaster claimed the lives of at least 600 people. More than 100,000 people were forced to leave their flooded homes and seek refuge in emergency shelters – many of them were inhabitants from Beira.

However, the measures to restore the natural course of the river that had already been completed were able to prevent even worse damage from flooding in the river basin area of the Rio Chiveve. The water in the different parts of the city along the course of the river was able to flow away faster and, as a result, fewer houses and roads were destroyed. The health risks from stagnant water were also reduced.

Because the buildings in informal settlements are of simple construction and are located close to water courses, they are particularly at risk from climate change impacts.

Video: Mozambique - coastal protection in Beira

Mozambique is already affected by the consequences of climate change, such as severe flooding. Germany supports the country in preventive measures. (Video in German)

Building a new road in Khulna, Bangladesh
Bangladesh: cooperation in action

Adapting cities to climate change

Bangladesh is one of the countries that will be most strongly affected – compared to the rest of the world – by climate change. Rising sea levels threaten to leave one fifth of the country permanently under water. At the same time, with a population density of 1,265 inhabitants per square kilometre, it is already one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

Within the framework of a joint initiative for ecological urban development, Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA), which is being supported through German development cooperation in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), medium-sized cities in Bangladesh and other Asian countries are receiving assistance as they seek to adapt to the consequences of climate change. One key element of this collaboration is drawing up project feasibility studies, which are an important basis for receiving funding for investments in urban infrastructure. However, many cities in Bangladesh lack the technical know-how to prepare such studies without assistance.

The example of Khulna

Khulna is a city that has already benefited from German development activities in Bangladesh. The city, which is located in the south-west part of the country, is surrounded by the Bhairab and Rupsha rivers and lies just two to four metres above sea level. Because of its location, the city is prone to severe flooding during the monsoon season. This is a difficult situation for Khulna's 1.5 million inhabitants, about 40 per cent of whom are afflicted by poverty. On the roads, 80 per cent of the traffic is non-motorised vehicles like rickshaws. However, because even these means of transport are often too expensive for poor people, many of them walk everywhere. Walking is a risky undertaking in Bangladesh as there are usually no pavements or proper footpaths. At the same time, the roads in Bangladesh often serve as dams and play a key role in protecting towns and cities from floods.

With the help of the CDIA, Khulna has been able to build ten kilometres of access roads in the poorer parts of the city, so that about 200,000 people now have a permanent connection to the transport network. The Government of Bangladesh has funded part of the costs, however the full funding was only possible with the assistance of the ADB and KfW Development Bank. Furthermore, the roads were built with a system of drainage ditches so that, during the monsoon season, districts within the city are no longer left under water for weeks. The danger of flooding is now significantly lower and the quality of life for the local people has been much improved. One local resident reported that the roads used to be flooded for up to six months of the year, whilst the new access roads have not yet been flooded once. These roads have also opened up new economic opportunities.

Included in the project were measures such as increasing the height of embankment roads, strengthening riverbank protection and extensive urban greening. Abir ul Jabbar, the head of Khulna's planning authority, says: "The project meets the city's transport and mobility needs and has contributed to making our road infrastructure climate-smart and environmentally friendly."

The example of Barisal

Barisal, the second-biggest coastal city in Bangladesh, has also received assistance under German development cooperation to help it make adaptations to deal with the consequences of climate change. The region is regularly subject to floods due to heavy rainfall and storm surges, with the slum quarter of Barisal being the first area to be affected. With German support, low-lying main thoroughfares have been renewed and raised so that they can be used as important emergency roads in the event of extreme weather situations.

Over the last few decades the population in Barisal has grown rapidly and it is estimated that around 110,000 people live in the slums. The growing demand for housing has a direct impact on the drainage systems. The systems are already struggling to cope, partly because of waste and rubble blocking 150 kilometres of drainage channels.

With German support, the drainage systems have been expanded and the capacity of the drainage channels has been increased. Drainage and flood protection systems can reduce the enormity of the climate-induced problems Barisal is facing and shorten the length of the flooding to a few days. This means that the danger for roads and schools is reduced and parts of the city with weak infrastructure are less susceptible.

Flooding in the city of Barisal, Bangladesh


Flooding in the city of Barisal, Bangladesh
Rickshaw driver on the completed bypass road in Khulna, Bangladesh
Rickshaw driver on the completed bypass road in Khulna, Bangladesh
Dam road to protect a residential area at the port of Khulna in Bangladesh
Two workers on a construction site on the banks of the Mayur River in the city of Khulna on a bank reinforcement.
Rickshaw driver on the completed bypass road in Khulna, Bangladesh
Rickshaw driver on the completed bypass road in Khulna, Bangladesh
EcoCasas in Mexico
Mexico: cooperation in action

A way to improve housing and save energy: Energy-efficient construction and emissions reduction in Mexico's transport sector

Half a million new housing units are being built in Mexico every year; eight per cent of the population works in the construction industry. The country's energy consumption is rising steadily, with private households accounting for around 17 per cent of total usage. This makes energy-efficient housing construction particularly important.

Through German development cooperation in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank, support is being provided for the Mexican Development Bank's EcoCasa housing development programme. A variety of international funds are putting up funding in a combined approach, including the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the European Commission's Latin America Investment Facility (LAIF). Germany has provided a total of 326 million euros in low-interest loans and investment subsidies via KfW since 2013.

Green housing

The programme will run until 2022 and will mobilise about half a billion US dollars of private investment. So far, more than 45,000 energy-efficient homes for more than 130,000 Mexicans have been financed in all four of the country's climatic zones. On average, these "eco-friendly homes" use about 20 per cent less energy than conventional buildings. Some of the green houses even manage reductions of up to 80 per cent.

Consequently, over the entire life cycle of the houses, EcoCasa will save more than one million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. At the same time, the programme is improving the lives of many Mexicans, who are now able to enjoy better-quality housing. It is also helping to establish new environmentally friendly and energy-efficient standards in housing construction, which are intended to be a benchmark for the Mexican housing market in the future.

Electric mobility and low-emission vehicles

In addition, Germany is using its development cooperation programmes to support the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) jointly with the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation. The purpose of the CFF is to help cities develop their own bankable infrastructure projects for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and strengthening their resilience in the face of climate change.

In order to further expand the use of electric vehicles in Mexico by introducing more electric buses, the CFF is supporting an exchange of experience between Guadalajara, Monterrey, Hermosillo and other cities. This support is intended to promote the further electrification of public transport so that, in future, rapid transit bus networks covering over 120 kilometres of routes can be operated using buses that run on electricity. For this expansion the CFF is relying, among other things, on experience gained in Mexico City. The size of the cities – with more than 29 million inhabitants in total – means that significant savings in greenhouse gas emissions are possible: estimates indicate potential savings of about 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. That is equivalent to the annual emissions of around 31,000 cars.

It is currently not yet possible to use electric vehicles to transport goods by road in Mexico. However, emissions have still been significantly reduced by replacing old lorries, some of which were as much as 40 years old, with new vehicles that produce far lower emissions. A German development cooperation initiative to replace the fleet of lorries used to transport goods by road with electric vehicles is currently being prepared in collaboration with the Mexican development bank, Nacional Financiera; it will enable savings of 120,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year to be made.

Electric taxis in a charging station in Mexico City, Mexico
The new tramway in Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: cooperation in action

New local rail services in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador da Bahía

Brazil's cities are growing relentlessly. In 2010, 84 per cent of all Brazilians were living in cities, in 1940 the urban population was only 30 per cent of the total. Even though local public transport networks are growing, there is still a long way to go before the available services meet people's needs. At the same time, the number of cars and motorcycles on the road is growing; and more vehicles means more traffic jams, air pollution and stress. This also leads to an increase in harmful greenhouse gases. According to Brazil's Climate Observatory, the transport sector accounted for more than 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2015, which is equal to almost eleven per cent of the country's total emissions.

The transport sector is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases worldwide. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this sector accounts for almost one quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions, with more than three quarters of this amount coming from private vehicles. Brazil has drawn up guidelines for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector. These guidelines provide, inter alia, for local public transport to be expanded, because rail-based transport systems use less energy per passenger kilometre than motorised private vehicles. The German government is supporting the efforts of two cities to modernise their transport systems and make them more sustainable. KfW is providing the Brazilian development bank BNDES with loans for this purpose.

These funds are to be used to co-finance public transport systems that are especially climate-friendly and sustainable: a tramway in Rio de Janeiro and a stretch of underground in Salvador da Bahía (expansion of line 1 and construction of line 2). The projects were selected using criteria that included a CO2 benchmark.

In addition, the German government is helping BNDES improve its own programme for calculating carbon dioxide emissions for the transport sector and draw up a guideline on selecting suitable technologies for public transport.

Once the tramway in Rio de Janeiro and the underground lines in Salvador have been completed, about 18 million passengers a year will shift from private vehicles with high CO2 emissions to public transport. That shift is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by some 530,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents. Through this involvement the German government is helping the Brazilian government push forward the shift towards public transport and achieve its national climate goals.

Bus in Windhoek
Namibia: cooperation in action

Experts sought for sustainable transport planning

Namibia urgently needs skilled experts in order to further expand its transport sector. The young Namibian Immanuel Johannes has a university degree in civil engineering and has recently begun working as a junior traffic planner in Windhoek.

During his studies he had the opportunity to gain initial practical experience in his professional field by working in the Transport, Mobility, Logistics project of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Later, as a student auxiliary worker, he was involved in traffic surveys carried out as part of the Sustainable Urban Transport Master Plan for Windhoek  and supported through German development cooperation.

After completing his university degree, Immanuel Johannes began to work as an intern in the city of Windhoek's department for public transport. Not long after, he was offered a job as a junior transport planner. GIZ-CIM expert Silja Fieblinger trained the young transport expert. Today, Johannes is in charge of optimising public transport in Windhoek and planning the organisation of the bus services.

"In Windhoek the programme on sustainable urban traffic has ushered in a truly new way of thinking. The issue plays an important role in urban planning now. In 2016, a new bus route was started with 14 new lines and 26 modern buses. We now have, for the first time, a line that covers several neighbourhoods," says Prof. Heinrich Semar, project manager of the German Transport, Mobility, Logistics project.

Videos on "Cities and climate"

Living with climate change

Germany is helping Bangladesh mitigate the effects of climate change, for instance by building bridges and dams and reinforcing river banks. (Video in German)

Philippines: Flood management in Naga City

The city of Naga in the Philippines is located in the centre of a typhoon area and regularly experiences flooding. With the help of the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA), flood control measures have been financed in Naga.

Reducing air pollution with e-trikes

In Naga City in the Philippines, a company has specialised in the construction of e-trikes. The electric vehicles are designed to reduce air pollution. With 90 per cent of the required materials sourced from the immediate vicinity, only 10 to 15 per cent need to be imported.

Cities for a better world

Cities offer solutions for a sustainable world: for climate protection, poverty alleviation or universal prosperity. We will only achieve a better world with our cities.

Cities and climate

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