The carbon footprint of urban transport – case study: Mumbai

Developing “cleaner” urban transport systems—systems that emit less CO2—is an urgent issue in sustainable development. Estimating their carbon footprint is a key step towards reducing their emissions. The aims of this study are twofold: to foster the emergence of sustainable mobility plans, and to facilitate access to carbon finance to implement them.

  Mumbai - India
  Cities & urban services


Leveraging carbon finance for urban transport

The Institute and its partners examined ways of evaluating the carbon impact of transport policies at the city scale, particularly in developing countries.

The study’s dual objective was to help policy-makers introduce sustainable solutions to reduce emissions, and to facilitate access to the required funding.
One of the major recent advances in international climate talks has been the introduction of funding instruments to support cities that are effective in reducing their GHG emissions. To enable the transport sector to access these funds, we now need to establish methods for evaluating emissions that reflect the key specificities of the sector, the developing-world context, and the size of the city.
This research drew on a pilot study: the metro (underground/subway) system of the city of Mumbai.

A methodology for advising cities on their mobility

After 3 working seminars—Mumbai in September 2010, Cancun in December 2010 (at the UN COP-16 climate talks) and Paris in June 2011—the project was finalized in partnership with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia), two global specialists in carbon accounting for the transport sector. The ITDP is a US think-tank that has developed internationally recognized methodologies for calculating the footprint of transport projects. This technical expertise, valuable for the second and last phase of the study, enabled us to establish an integrated methodology for evaluating a transport policy in its entirety, and ultimately for advising cities on their future mobility strategiesilité.


  • The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India
  • Veolia Transdev
  • Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), France
  • Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).