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Sustain to gain: January 2012 Archives

Developing Asia is at a crossroads, transport-wise. And integrating co-benefits in transport decision-makes the difference. That in a nut-shell is the message of the book Low Carbon Transport in Asia - Strategies for optimizing co-benefits by Zusman, Srinivasan and Dhakal, just getting published at Earthscan.

The book builds on established approaches to quantify co-benefits of sustainable transport benefits. According to perspective, climate change mitigation is a co-benefit of air pollution combat or transport management or, the other way around: a better air quality is the co-benefit of ambitious climate protection. With close to half of the world population living in mostly densely populated Asia, the exposure of transport impact is particularly relevant on this continent - a co-benefit approach will deliver most in Asia. The book, an organized collection of articles around this topic summarizes conceptualization efforts and developes case studies on realizing transport co-benefits. Crucially, the book manages to transcend pure quantification efforts and analyzes barriers to co-benefit strategies and corresponding solution strategies. Zusman et al. identify two main avenues: A) clean and affordable technologies for motorized vehicles that can have huge impact on improving the health of billions of Asians while also substantially reducing non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions; and B) transport demand management strategies that are even more comprehensive, also addressing congestion, safety, and accessibility issues, but are also more ambitious.

While there is some overlap across chapters, all a well edited and are a very good read. The true value of this book, however, is its success in bringing the transport co-benefit literature together, providing an excellent overview for scientists and policymakers. 

Disclosure: I contributed to this book project.