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This volume presents a novel framework to understand urban climate co-benefits in India, that is, tackling climate change and achieving sustainable development goals in cities. It utilizes methods and tools from several assessment frameworks to scientifically evaluate sector co-benefits for informed decision making. The co-benefits approach can lead to significant improvements in the way societies use environmental resources and distribute their outputs. The volume discusses four main themes: (1) Concepts and theories on cities and climate co-benefits; (2) Contextualizing co-benefit issues across spatial scales and sectors; (3) Sectoral analyses of co-benefits in energy, transport, buildings, waste, and biodiversity, and (4) Innovations and reforms needed to promote co-benefits in cities. The discussions are based on empirical research conducted in Indian cities and aligned with the international discourse on the 2030 UN Development Agenda and New Urban Agenda created at the UN-Habitat III in 2016. The analyses and recommendations in this volume are of considerable interest to policy experts, scholars and researchers of urban and regional studies, geography, public policy, international development/law, economics, development planning, environmental planning, climate change, energy studies, and so on.



Introduction to the Concept and Theory of Co-benefits


Chapter 1. Cities and Climate Co-benefits

The New Urban Agenda (NUA) was launched during Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, which took place in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 to 20 October 2016. This was one of the major global policy deliberations after the negotiation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. A key challenge remains how to actualize development goals without exacerbating the causes and consequences of climate change. Cities in developing countries particularly face an uphill task to become sustainable. Most of the climate research and action in the developed world like the US, Europe and Japan focused on mitigation strategies. Cities in developing countries until recently have had a limited research on climate response, that too pre-occupied with adaptation agenda. The co-benefit approach tries to bridge this gap, with integration of mitigation and adaptation agendas, vertical and horizontal coordination between sectors and scales of intervention. In this regard, India and other rapidly developing countries have the historical chance of following a different path of urban development. There are tremendous opportunities to harness massive urban climate co-benefits, which will be the only way to improve the well-being of the existing and growing number of urban dwellers without threatening the health of the planet and its inhabitants. This research will present a conceptual framework to investigate the different aspects of climate co-benefits relevant for Indian cities.
Mahendra Sethi, Jose A. Puppim de Oliveira

Chapter 2. Co-benefits Assessment Tools and Research Gaps

Climate change and urban areas bear a symbiotic relationship. Research in the causes and impact of climate change has witnessed widespread growth since the 1980s and 90s, while cities have recently started taking interest in acknowledging their role towards climate. The co-benefits approach helps to guide interventions that are at the crossroads of climate action, development needs and improvement of local environment. There are numerous tools or models that are available to estimate climate, local environment and development co-benefits in urban areas. The aim of this chapter is to have a fair understanding of theoretical literature on generating and estimating co-benefits in this inter-disciplinary area by reviewing available assessment tools, and in the process, identify the grey zones or research gaps. The study reports in detail on 44 tools of different kinds—database, evaluation and simulation, across both mitigation and adaptation areas. It identifies the conceptual, methodological, empirical and policy-governance gaps in systematic evaluation of urban co-benefits. The chapter recommends how future research tools could lead to effective estimation of co-benefits through assimilation of concepts, methodical analysis, inclusion of available, reliable and comparable data, and science-policy applications. The findings can find pertinence to governments, policy-makers, researchers and practitioners alike as they help frame a new paradigm to ascertain co-benefits in the inter-disciplines of climate change and urban studies.
Mahendra Sethi

Contextualizing Co-benefit Issues: Across Spatial Scales and Sectors


Chapter 3. South Asian Perspective: A Case of Urban Air Pollution and Potential for Climate Co-benefits in India

This chapter provides an analysis of the urban pollution and potential for co-benefits in India, making a comparison with other South Asian countries. Most of the South Asian countries are at the stage of developing or emerging economies, and India is the fastest growing economy among them. The Indian subcontinent is comprised of hundreds of densely populated large and medium size cities including five megacities (each with a population of more than 10 million). Constantly increasing energy-intensive urban activities in burgeoning cities and biomass burning in rural areas of India are responsible for a large share in the unacceptably high emissions of health-endangering and environment-polluting gaseous and particulate pollutants. The air pollution problem in India and the rest of the South Asia came into the spotlight by the South Asian haze called the Atmospheric Brown Cloud (ABC), which is said to be responsible for annually 100,000s premature deaths in the South Asian region (Lelieveld et al. 2001). Given the increasing trend of energy use and emissions in Indian cities, the present study is a step to make governments and people aware of the extent and intensity of the ambient as well as the indoor air pollution problem. The analysis presented in this study is expected to help initiate appropriate policy measures and suitable action plans to limit emissions and adopt ways based on the co-benefits approach that promote sustainable development.
Bhola Ram Gurjar, Toshimasa Ohara, Mukesh Khare, Priyanka Kulshrestha, Vandana Tyagi, Ajay Singh Nagpure

Chapter 4. Aligning Global Environmental and Local Urban Issues

India’s population of 1.21 billion (in 2011) makes it the second most populous country in the world. About 31% of India’s population lives in urban areas and the urban population has exhibited a higher decadal growth rate (31.8%) than its rural counterpart (12.2%), indicating that the country is urbanizing at a rapid pace. With an increasing number of people living in urban areas, the GHG emissions and environmental problems have also increased, owing to lacunae in urban planning and management. These GHG emissions ultimately contribute to climate change at both local and global levels. Therefore, measures to deal with climate change need to focus on both mitigation and adaptation. This study examines the status of a climate co-benefits approach in Indian cities, illustrated through various sectoral case studies. The study also attempts to examine how environmental issues in Indian cities align with local development issues. It discusses the context of climate and environmental co-benefits in urban India and relates it to urban policies. Implementation of the ACCCRN programme in three cities—Indore, Surat and Gorakhpur—is discussed to highlight climate change resilience issues at the local level and their environmental and social benefits. The final section deals with the future perspectives of integrating a climate co-benefits approach in urban development especially in light of the ‘100 Smart City Mission’ of India.
Usha P. Raghupathi, Richa Sharma, Aastha Joshi

Co-benefits in Energy, Transport, Buildings, Waste and Biodiversity


Chapter 5. Co-benefits from the Energy Sector

With the onset of climate change on the horizon of human civilization, from the 1990s onwards, research in the interphase of economy, energy and environment (read emissions), collectively known as the E3 nexus is increasingly gaining focus in academics and policy-making. Since 2009, when the world became more urban than rural, there seems to be a growing interest to study how this E3 nexus operates in urban areas. In the absence of any previous investigations on E3 linkages in India, this study proceeds on the research premise that E3 challenges are most crucially played out in urban areas, that possibly seek concerted technological and policy-oriented interventions to produce climate co-benefits. The chapter reviews global literature to theoretically comprehend E3 linkages in urban settlements. This is followed by a detailed study on present conditions, issues and challenges of India’s economy, energy and environment (emission) sectors. The research underscores the role of urban India in these three sectors and generates for the first time, superimposed scenarios of the nexus. The study culminates with a discussion on appropriate technology and policy/governance instruments that could possibly mitigate impacts and produce co-benefits in urban areas.
Mahendra Sethi

Chapter 6. Co-benefits of Urban Transport

Climate co-benefits are often not the primary drivers for choosing policies and investments in the transportation sector. However, the growing awareness of the costs of climate change, the importance of the sector in the global greenhouse gas emissions profile and the growing opportunities provided by the emerging climate instruments have opened up a more holistic paradigm in assessing transportation investments. With growing negative externalities from the transport sector, limited availability of funds and long-term impacts of transport investments, there is an urgent need to maximize benefits through the integration of multiple objectives including climate concerns in the assessment of policies and projects. It is often assumed that applying the co-benefits approach to the transport sector is difficult, needs a lot of resources and often is not straightforward. This chapter tries to break this myth. It establishes a case for quantifying co-benefits and presents a specific case study on the Chennai Metro Project. It shows how quantifying multiple co-benefits from transport projects could be simple yet effective in understanding the economic viability, and long-term impacts of the project. The adoption of the co-benefits approach in the assessment of transport investments aims to reveal a wider range of costs and benefits of the alternatives which are currently not captured in existing assessment approaches. In doing so, a clearer picture of the impacts of the different alternatives is generated and thus better investment decisions can be made.
Sudhir Gota, Alvin Mejia

Chapter 7. Co-benefits from Buildings and Construction

This chapter assesses the role of the building and construction sector on climate and the environment and the impact of climate friendly policies in achieving co-benefits in Indian cities. The urban climate co-benefits approach may be defined as implementation of climate friendly policies in cities by tackling both global and local environmental problems together while simultaneously contributing to solutions for local development needs. The building and construction sector plays a significant role in creating employment and income and at the same time contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Hence it offers opportunities for climate co-benefits to reduce GHG emissions, mitigate climate change impact and promote economic growth and employment. The slums and informal housing sector require special attention as it is more vulnerable to climate change impact. The chapter has reviewed Indian policies in the building sector which include the Energy Conservation Act 2001, Energy Conservation Building Code 2007, National Building Code, National Mission for Sustainable Habitat, rating systems for green buildings and so on. The chapter provides a brief assessment of the impact of these policies and makes suggestions for strengthening the same.
A. Narender

Chapter 8. Co-benefits of Waste to Energy

Rapidly increasing urbanization and economic development in India has impacted the quantity of waste generation. Presently, only 68% of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generated in the country is collected of which 28% is treated by the municipal authorities. In the case of wastewater about 30% of the wastewater generated from major cities of India is treated. Untreated waste leads to an adverse impact on public health and also creates various environmental problems including pollution of air, water and land resources. There have been efforts by the respective governments for initiating action on converting waste to energy but these initiatives are fragmented and have not been integrated into national policy frameworks. Further, waste to energy involves higher costs and a relatively higher degree of expertise amongst the governments about integration of various technologies. The main aim of the paper is to document and analyse waste to energy initiatives both in solid waste and waste water so as to identify and disseminate innovative urban practices. Among the various initiatives taken for ‘waste to energy’ in India, three cases are selected, namely: biogas-fertilizer plants (BGFPs) for generation, purification/enrichment, bottling and piped distribution of biogas in Talwade, Nasik district of Maharashtra; organic MSW-based decentralized biomethanation plant at Pune city of Maharashtra and methane recovery and power generation from sewage treatment plants (STPs) in Surat city of Gujarat. This paper made an attempt to analyse and document the innovative urban practices in India on ‘waste to energy’ that can be replicated at other cities and thus offers an implementable solution to the problem faced by many Indian cities.
Amit Chatterjee, Manmohan Kapshe, Binayak Choudhury, Shomit Bade

Chapter 9. Co-benefits of Urban Biodiversity

Growth and development of an urban area modifies and creates biodiversity, which has a vital role in maintaining and improving the quality of the urban environment. The paper studies the growth and development of Delhi, the capital city of India, and outlines an approach to assess the biodiversity pattern of the metropolis. The co-relation between habitat scales and levels of planning to arrive at a biodiversity profile of an urban area, are explained. The Global Biodiversity Assessment and Convention on Biological Diversity has brought forth the need to conserve biodiversity at global and local levels. Because of their diminishing numbers, the role of species in urban areas has become critical. So far, in cities, open spaces are supposed to mainly cater to aesthetic demands and recreation needs. But if we examine the environmental role they play—pollution abatement, water recharge, indicator of pollution, climatic amelioration, flood control and so on—they are many. The strategy for conservation is related to the scale of habitat, thus a multiscale strategy for conservation is explained in detail. The legal, governance and policy tools in India relating to national, sub-national and local levels are put forth to give a holistic picture of the various aspects to be considered for mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in the urban planning process.
Meenakshi Dhote, Debojyoti Mukherjee

Promoting Co-benefits in the Urban Context: Innovations and Reforms


Chapter 10. Smart and Livable Cities: Opportunities to Enhance Quality of Life and Realize Multiple Co-benefits

Throughout human history, cities have been centres of prosperity, ideas and innovation. These days, smart cities are creating a new buzzword across the world. Examples boom in Japan, Europe, UAE and Singapore while several others are shaping up on the drawing board. With the recent announcement of 100 new Smart Cities, the Government of India has strategically responded to both the international call for innovation and transformative sustainability as well as growing domestic pressure in cities. Interestingly, there is neither an internationally accepted definition of a Smart City, nor does India have any national policy on urbanization. Within this science-policy vacuum, there is a fair degree of consensus on what a smart city looks like, but no understanding on what are the inputs and strategies to achieve one. With numerous expectations, inhibitions and euphoria around this theme, this paper attempts to systematically investigate what is a smart city, how it is different from similar prototypes like a sustainable, green and low-carbon city and what are the global best practices. The article addresses some of the ideological, technical, societal, governance and financial challenges that India faces to attain the ‘100 Smart Cities’ goal, and what would be its policy implications. In the process, the research proposes a new idiom for SMART—Sustainability, Metrics, Adaptiveness, Reporting, Technology for Inclusiveness.
Shilpi Mittal, Mahendra Sethi

Chapter 11. Social Entrepreneurship, Energy and Urban Innovations

Energy has become a central focus of human existence and lack of access to energy is an indication of lack of access to many basic needs. Especially people in developing countries face a greater hurdle to access electricity. Given the constraints in the capacities of developing countries, it may be difficult to cater for the escalating energy needs in urban areas unless innovative methods are explored. However, what becomes very significant in this mileu in developing countries is the fact that the third sector is emerging very strong—in particular, social enterprises with their innovative strategies, processes and methods to provide access to energy and protect the environment from over-usage of natural resources. With this background, the current chapter, through a case study approach, attempts to explore how social entrepreneurs in India adopt better ways of providing energy to the excluded and marginalized social sections.
Rama Krishna Reddy Kummitha

Chapter 12. A State-level Framework for Integrated Land Use and Transport

According to the International Energy Agency, India was the fourth largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world after China, the United States and the European Union in 2011. Considering the accelerated economic growth dynamics in the Indian cities, the contribution of urban agglomerations to the overall carbon emissions is only going to increase in the coming years. The Government of India has formulated the National Mission on Sustainable Habitat and the National Urban Transport Policy as a part of its efforts to induce low carbon and sustainable urban growth. These policies together advocate integrated land use and transportation planning as a tool to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, there exists no policy to guide integrated land use and transportation in the cities or assist in future decision-making in similar matters. In this paper, a framework is devised for such a state-level integrated land use and transportation policy aimed at reducing GHGs and improving sustainable accessibility. The framework draws policy pointers from similar efforts globally to explore the barriers in implementing such a policy in the Indian context. The research also identifies existing schemes/programmes that can support the implementation for such a policy. The chapter concludes with a list of actions that would facilitate the implementation of an integrated land use and transportation policy in India. Whereas, such a framework is rather befitting new developments, travel demand management can be better utilized to render existing developments less carbon intensive. However, the scope of this paper pertains to new development/growth.
Shabana Charaniya

Chapter 13. Climate Resilience in Urban Planning

Urbanization as a process, and at its current pace, is posing new opportunities and challenges for growth and development of urban areas and regions in the country. These include acute gaps and constraints to address growing demands on infrastructure, services, housing and other facilities. Additional threats like that of climate change are aggravating these issues. It is unequivocal that climate action would impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people in urban centres. There is a need to address current risks and to begin building climate resilience into urban fabrics and systems to likely future risks. This chapter discusses one such initiative for mainstreaming urban climate resilience carried out in Gorakhpur city, India under the ACCCRN programme.
Divya Sharma, Raina Singh

Chapter 14. Rights-Based Approach to Realize Co-benefits in Delhi

An important actor in the urban reform agenda in India is the judiciary. In fact, through public interest litigation, the Supreme Court (SC) and the High Courts have received claims from citizens, directly related to city development. Although the basis of the claims in front of the SC was the violation of a fundamental right, the judiciary was able to step into sectors such as land use, transport as well as cross-cutting issues such as air pollution. The case law of the SC has been particularly important for the city capital, Delhi. Based on this example, this chapter shows how the SC, starting from the violation of the fundamental right to life, ended up making detailed policy and technological orders to local public authorities in order to tackle the problem of air pollution. It shows the outcomes of these orders and co-benefits. Finally, it discusses the limits and opportunities of this rights-based approach for city development.
Magali Dreyfus

Chapter 15. Mainstreaming Co-benefits in Urban Policy, Governance and Finance

This chapter concludes the book by examining the potential for mainstreaming a climate co-benefits approach in urban policy, governance and finance to address climate impacts and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in India. The cities have a key role to accrue co-benefits as they have jurisdictional and functional responsibility for planning and provision of services. The five-year plans, sectoral policies and projects comprise the urban policy framework in India and past efforts have not paid much attention to climate co-benefits. It is only in the last decade that the programmes and policies have started paying attention to the climate co-benefits in their development agenda. There is a greater scope for mainstreaming a climate co-benefits approach into these policies and ensure their effective implementation at the state and Urban Local Body (ULB) levels. The governance and financing capacities of implementing agencies can play a key role in effective implementation of urban sector policies. The 12th Five Year Plan and the High Power Expert Committee Report have made suggestions for strengthening the governance and financing framework for promoting urban development, which needs to be implemented on a priority basis. The chapter presents the need and approach to internalize a climate co-benefit approach, discusses the key issues and suggests the way forward to mainstream co-benefits into the urban policy, governance and financing framework in India.
A. Narender, Mahendra Sethi
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