Analysis of the transport sector to establish deep-decarbonization strategies in Peruvian cities

Current policies to keep global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions below the 1.5°C threshold are currently compromised by the meager efforts of the international community to tighten the compromises that nations commit to at the Conference of the Parties (COP). This has led to a number of studies that question the capability of human societies to establish clear, transparent and robust policies to reduce GHG emissions in different anthropogenic activities,especially those with highest carbon burden, such as agriculture, industrial processes, energy or transport. Cities and their metabolism are increasingly responsible for the global carbon emergency the world is facing, as human population growth has concentrated in urban environments in recent decades. In this context, Peruvian cities have been some of the fastest-growing urban areas in Latin America and the world since the mid-20th century and represent over two thirds of the country’s GHG emissions (excluding those derived from land use change). However, changes in the urban mosaic of Peruvian cities have been erratic in recent years to adapt them to the challenges described in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the more climaterelated Nationally-determined contributions (NDCs), the latter fully linked to climate mitigation and adaptation actions. Unfortunately, the NDCs proposed by the Peruvian government to comply with the Paris Agreement are being displayed at a relatively low pace. Moreover, a series of life-cycle studies have raised concerns about the actual trade-offs that could occur when these NDCs are implemented, with hidden climate emissions potentially emerging in other geographical areas. Therefore, it is imperative that Peruvian institutions develop a revised set of carbon mitigation measures that are aligned with deep decarbonization, in order to generate a nationally-based pathway that allows much deeper carbon emissions cuts once the 2030 climate-oriented steps are fulfilled. In this context, the main objective of the current project is to establish pathways for deep-decarbonization objectives in the context of Peruvian cities, specifically the transport sector, through the combination of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Material Flow Analysis (MFA) and meso- and microsimulation traffic models, as well as auxiliary methods. Deep-decarbonization requires sector-by-sector specific actions in which low-carbon activities are progressively integrated in larger international markets. For the case of Peru, in which economic constraints are more palpable than in the developed world, we propose a combination of new emerging technologies, strategies for social behavioral change, and the inertia of the climate system with the aim of developing revised climate mitigation scenarios below the 1.5°C threshold.

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