By Stephanie Pons
TUMI partner KfW is financing climate friendly public transport in Brazil –
Emissions of more than 500,000 tons of CO2 per year can be avoided
The public transport system in Brazil is far from meeting the actual demand, even with a moderately growing capacity. At the same time, the increasing number of cars and motorcycles produce congestion, air pollution and health damages for the population. Along with it, the numbers of fatalities and injuries in road traffic are growing as well. According to the Brazilian Climate Observatory (SEEG – Sistema de Estimative de Emissão de Gases), the public transport sector was responsible for more than 200 million t CO2 in 2015, which was nearly 11% of Brazil’s total emissions.
Brazil has therefore developed several national and regional plans and policies with the focus on expanding public transport. To reach these objectives, TUMI partner KfW, one of the most experienced development finance institution worldwide, is supporting the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES – Banco de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social) with a credit line of 265 million Euros for updating the transport systems in two cities. The resources were used to co-finance climate-friendly and sustainable public transport systems: the tram “VLT Carioca” in Rio de Janeiro and the metro in Salvador de Bahia. The selection of the projects was based on a CO2 eligibility criterion, among other relevant technical factors.
In Rio de Janeiro, VLT Carioca is integrated within the existing metro, ferry, bus and BRT networks and can be used with the city public transport pass. The tram is a crucial part of a continuous development of the city including initiatives to calm traffic in the center and to upgrade the living and working conditions in the modern and historic harbor neighborhoods mostly inhabited by people with lower incomes. The first line of VLT Carioca started its operation shortly before the Olympic Games in 2016. Today it is used by about 80,000 passengers per day and will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 300,000 tons over a period of 25 years.
The extension of the metro in Salvador de Bahia is a high-performance city rail network, connecting the city of Salvador with neighboring communities, the national bus station as well as the international airport. The metro offers commuters an alternative to the congested road network as it is a cost-effective, fast and safe public mass transport system. Approximately 340,000 people use the metro on an average working day, and thus greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by more than 200,000 t CO2 over a calculative 25-year lifetime.
When running on full capacity in the mid- and long-term, the tram in Rio de Janeiro and the metro in Salvador will avoid more than 18 million car trips per year. This reduces the overall greenhouse gas emissions by more than 500,000 t CO2.
TUMI partner KfW also supported BNDES to enhance the bank’s own CO2 calculation tool for the transport sector and developed a guideline on selecting and implementing appropriate public transport technologies. The tool and selection manual will ensure long-lasting effects as future public transport projects financed by the BNDES and the Brazilian Ministry of Regional Planning will be more thoroughly developed under the criteria of technological adequacy climate mitigation benefits.
Through this engagement, TUMI partner KfW is supporting Brazil not only to move forward with the needed change from individual to public transportation but also to meet its national climate goals under the Paris Agreement.