Climate and Clean Air in Latin American Cities Plus Programme (CALAC+)

Proyecto terminado

CALAC+ supports clean air strategies in Latin American metropolises fostering normative and technological changes towards application of soot-free engines in public urban transport systems and off-road machinery. The reduction of air pollutants that are both an important impediment to sustainable development and a key contributor to climate change will be achieved by means of, targeted capacity building, sharing experiences and curbing private sector engagement in clean air issues.

Región/País Tema Período Presupuesto
Cambio climático y medio ambiente
Environmental policy
Protección de la biosfera
25.11.2016 - 31.07.2021
CHF  2’850’000

The transport sector in Latin America is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and primary cause of black carbon release, causing negative impacts on public health and the climate.

Under the increasing pressure of urban citizens and civil society to remediate metropolitan air pollution problems, the authorities of a growing number of Latin American cities have stepped up their efforts to design, adopt  and apply strategies for more integrated, low-carbon and soot-free urban public transport and off-road machineries. Cities are requesting support to tackle these issues that have gained an important political dimension. Switzerland is well-positioned to provide this type of assistance – for the following reasons:  Switzerland has designated expertise and a long trajectory of coming up with innovative solutions to clean air issues; Switzerland hosts some of the leading private sector enterprises and disposes of universities with international reputation in this field. Switzerland is further assuming an active role on clean air aspects at the global level (Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC)); and finally SDC has been working on the topic in the frame of different initiatives in Latin America to date – such as the collaboration with Santiago and Bogota (CALAC).  


CALAC+ phase I pursues a zero black carbon vision towards healthier and more sustainable cities, by means of fostering a shift towards soot-free and low carbon urban buses and off-road machinery.

The programme´s overall objective is to reduce harmful air pollutants in Latin American capitals through deployment of soot-free engines in public urban transport and off-road machinery to protect human health  and to mitigate climate change.

This will be achieved by providing national decision makers with advice and expertise to inspire and secure public commitment for future-oriented, transformative investments in the cities’ urban transport and off-road sectors. And by associating private sector stakeholders to actively engage. CALAC+ will put a special focus on proactively disseminating its findings from operational work at the regional level for strengthening the voluntary alliance of Latin American cities committed to taking rapid action on clean air issues. CALAC+ phase I will make use of the thematic platforms established under the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) for its global outreach and for feeding the information into the dialogues at the global level.

Grupos destinarios

Urban population of Santiago, Bogotá, Lima and Mexico City (totalling about 28 million inhabitants - of which one forth is living below the respective national poverty line).

Efectos a medio plazo

The expected outcomes of the proposed programme are as follows:

  1. Soot-free & low carbon buses: The emissions of ultrafine particles, black carbon and greenhouse gases from the public transport system are significantly and sustainably reduced.
  2. City policy incubator for urban off-road machinery: The proposed policies and regulatory framework for a reduction of emissions of ultrafine particles, black carbon and greenhouse gases from off-road machinery in urban areas are in place.
  3. Global knowledge management network: The proven policies, actions and cost-effective technologies are systematized and shared at the global level.



Resultados previstos:  

  • High-level mandates towards soot-free and low carbon urban buses and off-road machinery in the capital cities of the four selected Latin American countries.
  • Enhanced inter-institutional coordination and capacity building for relevant stakeholders.
  • Long-term roadmaps covering fuel quality, regulations favouring soot-free & low carbon technologies, and supervision and control.
  • Implementation of roadmaps ensuring reduction of PM2.5 and greenhouse gases together with long-lasting outputs.
  • Scaling-up action by sharing experience through a knowledge management platform.

Resultados de las fases anteriores:  

Between 2013 and 2015, GPCCE implemented the Climate and Clean Air in Latin American Cities (CALAC) Programme in Santiago de Chile and Bogota, which had direct and verifiable incidence in their actions to reduce black carbon emissions from their bus rapid transit systems.

In Santiago de Chile, half of the fleet (around 3200 buses) is running with diesel particle filters (DPF) today which capture up to 99% of ultrafine particles, while in Bogotá, the Office of Environment reported a reduction of 25-35 tons of ultrafine particle emissions from its transport vehicles per year, which represents a reduction of a quarter of the city’s annual total soot output.

Dirección / Officina Federal responsable COSUDE
Crédito Cooperación al desarrollo
Contrapartes del proyecto Contraparte del contrato
ONG internacional o extranjera
Sector privado
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • Sector privado extranjero Sur/Este

Coordinación con otros proyectos y actores

Global: Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI).

Switzerland: Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN); State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Presupuesto Fase en curso Presupuesto suizo CHF    2’850’000 Presupuesto actual suizo ya emitido CHF    2’456’244
Fases del proyecto Fase 2 01.08.2021 - 31.07.2025   (Fase en curso)

Fase 1 25.11.2016 - 31.07.2021   (Completed)