Behavior-Based Transportation Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Under the Clean Development Mechanism: Transport-Efficient Development in Nanchang, China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, planning - environmental impact, land use - transit oriented development, land use - impacts, ridership - commuting, policy - environment, policy - sustainable, mode - mass transit


Vehicle exhaust, Travel behavior, Transit oriented development, Transit, Sustainable development, Sustainability, Public transit, Nanchang (China), Mass transit, Local transit, Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto Accord, Greenhouse gases, Exhaust gases, Exhaust emissions, Environmental impacts, Environmental effects, Emission reduction programs, Clean development mechanism, Case studies, Automobile exhaust


This paper proposes a methodology, consistent with the Kyoto Protocol’s clean development mechanism (CDM), to quantify the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction benefits of transport-efficient development (TED). TED aims to reduce transportation GHGs by changing urban development patterns. The Nanchang Transit-Oriented Development project in China is used to demonstrate the methodology and the possibilities for bringing such projects into the carbon market. The case illustrates the challenges of using the CDM to reduce transportation GHG emissions via TED. The proposed analytical approach, utilizing a control group, encounters difficulties with geographical control, the reliability of the statistical techniques, and challenges to calculating emissions “leakage.” These methodological difficulties also affect financial viability because of high monitoring costs and high project risks. Ultimately, the CDM executive board rejected the proposed methodology, suggesting limited possibilities for utilizing today’s carbon market to alter developing countries’ urban transportation GHG growth trajectories.