Transport NAMA Database: Sharing the work of developing countries and technical experts
Traffic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

80% of the growth in transport emissions by 2050 is expected to come from developing countries. In order to curb this growth, Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) can be implemented to support mitigation efforts. The upcoming Transport NAMA Database will catalog all transport related NAMAs. Photo by Yukun Chen.

Transport currently accounts for nearly 20% of global energy use and related CO2 emissions, approximately 40% of which are emitted from urban transport. Transport emissions are expected to increase by 57% worldwide from 1990 levels by 2030 and more than 80% by 2050. If trends continue as they are, nearly 80% of this growth is expected to come from developing countries. In order to prevent this unsustainable increase in global emissions, developing countries need to adopt a lower carbon development trajectory than the traditional path. Several new tools and mechanisms are now available to help them do so, and hopefully with financial, technical, and capacity building support they can learn from the experience of other countries and leapfrog to more advanced development. One such tool proving useful to developing countries is Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS), which includes Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs).

NAMAs are a new instrument to support mitigation efforts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in developing countries. They are a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) instrument first introduced in the Bali Action Plan (2009) as a mechanism to help developing countries find funding sources for programs that reduce their GHG emissions and provide a methodology for measuring, reporting, and verifying GHG reductions. NAMAs are voluntary and there are no limitations about the nature of emission reduction activity that can be a NAMA – so they can be applied to the transport sector. They have the potential to catalyze the development of sustainable transport systems in developing countries, and the upcoming Transport NAMA Database will catalogue all transport related NAMAs.

What is the Transport NAMA Database?

EMBARQ, the sustainable urban transport and urban planning program of the World Resources Institute (WRI), is partnering with the German International Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit [GIZ]), to launch the first version of a comprehensive Transport NAMA Database, an interactive portal that will provide information in three levels of detail on all transport NAMAs. It will launch on November 17, 2013, Transport Day of the UNFCCC nineteenth session of the Conference of the Parties in Warsaw (COP 19). The Database will be the only place where all information on transport NAMAs from around the world will be available, enabling practitioners and decision makers to learn from each other.

The Transport NAMA Database will present information in the context of the Avoid-Shift-Improve framework about NAMAs at all stages of their development – from concept to planning to implementation to completion. The information, which will be organized in one accessible forum, will be provided at three levels, with greater detail in each level. Level one is a high-level overview of the NAMA containing its most basic information, such as name, country, type, and stage of action. Level two provides a detailed summary of each NAMA, a reflection on lessons learned, and an overview of its policy context, implementation process, Monitoring-Reporting-Verification (MRV) methodology, financing, and mitigation potential. Finally, level three provides in-depth information about NAMA identification, development, and implementation, including an analysis of aspects such as financing and MRV. Users will be able to decide which level of detail is most relevant to their needs and utilize the database accordingly. The transport NAMAs submitted to the database cover a wide range of topics, including the modernization and renovation of freight road vehicles in Colombia and rail infrastructure in Argentina, land use planning integrated with transport oriented development in Colombia, Transport Demand Management (TDM) in Indonesia, comprehensive urban mobility planning in Brazil, Chile, Jordan, Lao PDR, and Mexico, and deployment of e-mobility technologies in Chile, Colombia, and South Africa.

Goals of the Transport NAMA Database

The Transport NAMA Database is aimed primarily at policy makers, technical experts, and potential financiers in order to further sustainable transport initiatives. It was developed for multiple purposes, all aimed at assisting developing countries and providing feedback and lessons learned from a bottom-up perspective:

  • Identify pathways to financial assistance, such as opportunities through the Green Climate Fund or NAMA Facility
  • Provide a systematic overview of existing NAMAs in the transport sector
  • Improve knowledge management
  • Facilitate the identification of capacity building needs in relation to transport NAMAs
  • Support the matching of financial and technical support with proposed NAMA activities
  • Establish contacts and networks
  • Demonstrate the interest and progress of the transport community in the area of transport NAMAs

Why the Transport NAMA Database matters

This innovative online portal will be instrumental in allowing the transport community to access relevant information and further their own transport initiatives. It will, for example, highlight sources of financial and technical support that have been used to develop and implement transport NAMAs.

The Transport NAMA Database will be the only place where all information about NAMA proposals, submissions, and projects can be found. It is a tool that can be utilized by communities such as the LEDS Global Partnership to enhance coordination and exchange information, therefore catalyzing the development of sustainable transport systems.

On November 14, the database will go live here. To find out more, contact Benoit Lefevre at

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