D 13139 F
akzente working with
Air polluters on the retreat
A full range of measures
Clean air in the cities to prevent air pollution
Measuring labs on patrol,
and alarming waste studies
Traffic jams, polluted roads, funding crises;
an absence of parks, walkways and public
spaces; spiralling car and motorcycle use,
ever-greater burdens on the poor, and
less liveable cities. All this is increasingly
familiar to people living in developing
cities. Moreover, these problems are getting
worse rather than better with economic
The Sourcebook contains 20 printed
modules in the form of booklets around 20
to 30 pages long. Each module draws upon
the experience of GTZ and others in devel-
oping cities and is a collaborative exercise
with generous input from contributors who
are leading experts in their field.
The Sourcebook is intended for policy-
makers and their advisors and those
involved in transport planning and regula-
tion in developing cities. This audience
is reflected in the contents. As well as
capacity development for policy-makers
and regulators, the Sourcebook can
form the basis of a sustainable trans-
port training curriculum in developing
cities and will be a valuable resouce to
educators, civil society groups and other
How can I get a copy?
Please visit www.gtz.de/transport
or contact email@example.com
to order a copy.
The Sourcebook is not sold for profit,
with charges imposed only to cover
the cost of printing aud distribution.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ ) GmbH
Tilman C. Herberg,
GTZ Director of Environment
and Infrastructure Division
A problem that is regarded as solved in the industrialised nations is claiming more and more lives
in the developing countries. Every day, more than 1.4 billion city-dwellers worldwide are breathing
air with pollution levels that exceed the limit values of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Many cities frequently exceed these values three or even fourfold: Beijing, Delhi, Dhaka and
Mexico City are good examples. The main causes are the growth of settlements with an increasing
use of fires for domestic heating and cooking, the exponential increase in traffic flows, and rising
levels of emissions from industry.
The consequences are inestimable. According to the WHO, nearly three million people prematurely
die as a result of air pollution each year. More and more people are suffering from respiratory
diseases, especially the elderly and children. The risk of cancer and heart attacks is on the increase.
The poor, who usually live in the intensively polluted inner-city areas, in the immediate proximity
of industrial plants, along roads with large volumes of traffic and next to airports, are particularly
severely affected by air pollution.
Getting the air clean again and maintaining air quality is a key task in achieving sustainable urban
development. The problem affects not only the megacities but also most of the fast-growing,
so-called medium development cities with one million to five million inhabitants. The United Nations
reckons that as early as 2050, more than half of the world’s population will be living in cities.
So promoting sustainable development in the cities before it is too late is all the more important.
And that means action has to be taken today!
Many local initiatives, bilateral projects and development co-operation programmes as well as
international activities such as the World Bank’s Clean Air Initiatives have now focused their
attention on this issue. And it is also GTZ’s mission to support our partners to result in cities
that are worth living in and viable urban development.
This issue of Akzente focuses on selected practical examples demonstrating GTZ’s effort to address
urban air pollution. Independent journalists take a look at the work of international development
cooperation and describe various concepts supporting the preparation, introduction and implemen-
tation of appropriate air pollution control strategies in selected cities.
5 A modern infrastructure to stop emissions
Interview with BMZ Head of Department Manfred Konukiewitz.
6 Air polluters on the retreat
Chile: Guidelines on air pollution control have yielded
measurable results in Santiago.
10 A full range of measures to prevent air pollution
Malaysia. Preventive environmental protection
acting as a regional model.
14 Measuring labs on patrol
Syria.Teams of experts are tracking down the polluters.
17 Alarming waste studies
Syria. A GTZ survey reveals high pollution levels.
18 Breathing in the smog
Mexico. Integrated air pollution control programmes have taken
the sting out of alarming pollutant levels.
22 The mantra of energy saving
India. Rapid industrialisation is turning better and cleaner power
supply into an increasingly urgent issue.
28 Clean air in cities
In order to prevent emissions on a lasting basis, GTZ takes technical,
political and societal factors into consideration.
32 Twins for better air quality
Old and new EU Member States have joined forces to combat
Santiago. A pedestrian
wearing a breathing mask.
Photo: Pablo Martínez
Publishers: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, D-65726 Eschborn,
Postfach 5180, Germany.Tel: +49 6196 790. Fax: +49 6196 796169. Responsible: Volker Franzen, Johannes Seifen.
Editors: Jens Heinefirstname.lastname@example.org (responsible).Translations: Mike Gardner, Bonn.
Layout: Sylvia Handschuh, Frankfurt. Printers: Wetzlardruck GmbH,Wetzlar.
Lithography: Spiecker Design & Produktion GmbH, Frankfurt. Views expressed by authors in the journal are
not necessarily those of the publishers. Date of publication of this special issue: April 2004.
Paper: recycled paper without lighteners. ISSN 0945-4497.
A modern infrastructure
to stop emissions
How can the gulf between the enormous levels of air
pollution in the conurbations and the growing energy
demand of the developing countries be bridged?
Questions answered by Manfred Konukiewitz, Head of
the Department for Water, Settlements and Infrastructure
Issues at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation
Akzente: How should air pollution control policy in the developing countries be improved
to ensure a transition to sustainable urban development?
Manfred Konukiewitz: The causes of air pollution are rather similar in most countries. The transport
sector heads the list, i.e. the combustion engines of the vehicles. Industry and domestic households vie
for the second place. Politically, four things count. Dirty fuels have to be replaced with clean fuels,
for example charcoal with gas or leaded petrol with unleaded petrol. The second demand has to be that
of enhancing the efficiency of combustion processes so that less fuel is needed for the desired energy
output. Third, the combustion processes have to be optimised in a manner that will ensure that fewer
pollutants develop. This is accomplished by fine-tuning diesel motors or power stations. And fourth, it is
important to keep an optimum share of the remaining pollutants away from the air, for example by using
filtering plants. Then, at community level, there are important elements of sustainable urban development
that have nothing to do with energy conversion by combustion: environmentally friendly urban planning
and transport policy. So there is no lack of proposals and concepts for effective air pollution control.
What is usually missing is the political will or the financial possibilities to apply solutions that are
already there in principle.
Is lowering energy input also an option?
As a rule, lowering energy input is out of the question as far as the developing countries are concerned
because they will require more energy for their development in future, not less.
How does effective air pollution control relate to poverty alleviation?
If you are forced to breathe polluted air all day, that is a bad, frequently deadly effect of poverty.
Better-off people are also affected, but they can often protect themselves more effectively in everyday life.
The depressing question remains how expensive it will be to switch to clean energy forms and whether the
poor can afford clean air.
Can an air pollution control policy pave the way for greater involvement of the developing
countries in combating global warming?
One problem in developing measures to combat global warming is that many developing countries regard
this issue to be solely a responsibility of the industrialised countries. But the fact is that, measured in
absolute volumes, China is already the second largest greenhouse gas emitter. This is why more environ-
mental awareness is urgently required in the developing countries. An air pollution control policy will
reinforce this process. The chemical composition of the greenhouse gases differs from the harmful
substances polluting the air close to the ground. But if we apply energy more efficiently in order to prevent
pollution in urban areas, the discharge of greenhouse gases will also be reduced in parallel.
What role can Technical Cooperation play in this context?
Consultation in Technical Cooperation is an important way of enabling the governments and political
institutions of our partner countries to benefit from experience gained in the industrialised countries.
For example, in Berlin or in the Ruhr Region, air quality has improved considerably over the last ten to twen-
ty years. This did not require any major public-funded subsidy programmes. The costs were ultimately finan-
ced by the consumers themselves, for example via better vehicle motors and catalytic converters.
Advising the cities plays a particularly important role, for it is here that the course will be set in the long run.
The communal infrastructure being built today determines tomorrow’s levels of emissions.
Jens Heine asked the questions.
5 akzente special
A pungent odour is wafting
through the laboratory of San-
tiago’s Centro de Control y Certi-
in force that stipulates the policy
guidelines for air pollution control.
GTZ consultants commissioned by
ficación Vehicular, 3CV for short. the Federal Ministry for Economic
A blackish brown sludge is slosh- Cooperation and Development
ing around in the glass vessel the (BMZ) have been supporting this
lab technician is holding in her process for more than a decade.
hand at the centre for vehicle 3CV is a building brick in the
inspection and certification. “This effort to establish a set of guide-
is the pride of our activities,” she lines for environmental policy
grins ironically. It is claimed to and put institutions for environ-
be diesel that was detected when mental protection in place. A net-
inspecting a tank. work of monitoring stations sup-
A filthy concoction of fuels can plies data on the concentration
hardly contribute to better air of various pollutants, such as
on the retreat
Things have got going in Chilean environmental policy. Guidelines on
air pollution control in the Santiago region have yielded measurable
results. GTZ has been supporting this process for more than a decade and
is contributing to more preventive measures and better air.
Ulrich Goedeking, text | Pablo Martínez, photos
quality in Santiago.Together with particulate matter and gases like
Mexico City, the Chilean capital, nitrogen oxides or sulphur diox-
with its five to six million in- ide. According to CONAMA, half
habitants, is top of the list when of the pollutants in the air come
it comes to Latin American smog from road traffic.
ranking. On a clear day, the city Consultant Frank Dursbeck,
affords spectacular views of the who has been working for GTZ
snow-capped Andes chain. But in Chile since the measures were
the mountains also prevent the started, points to what has been
air from escaping, which is why a achieved so far. Now, various
thick pall of smoke hangs over standards provide the founda-
the metropolis in the winter. José tions for emissions control. Petrol
Concha of the Sub-department is lead-free, and most cars are
for Air Quality describes the con- fitted with catalytic converters.
sequences: “Since the seventies, 3CV examines all new car models
more and more people have been to see if they meet a wide range
dying of respiratory diseases, of technical criteria before any
above all the elderly and childr- import permit is granted. Second-
en.” hand cars may no longer be
Since the early nineties,Chile has imported.The Revisión Técnica,
been pursuing an environmental Chile’s Ministry of Transport
policy. A commission has already (MOT), ensures that vehicles have
been dealing with the issue of air regular technical inspections.
pollution in Santiago for twelve
A visit to 3CV
years.In 1994, the National Envi-
ronmental Authority CONAMA The MOT’s Departamento de
was founded, and since 1998, a Fiscalizatión carries out on-the-
plan for preventive measures and spot inspections in the streets.
the improvement of air quality The device the inspectors push
in the Santiago region has been into the exhaust pipe with a long
7 akzente special
Photo: Frank Dursbeck
Well over ten percent of the public transport vehicles fail the test and have
to visit 3CV. The Chilean government intends to reduce industrial waste-gas emissions
with agreements on cleaner production.
rod before the driver who has port, also with regard to environ- As far as the technical aspects
been stopped puts his foot down mental requirements. Its influence of the policy on air pollution con-
in neutral looks like a giant micro- is to be overcome by 2005. trol are concerned, appraiser Fer-
phone. Buses are also checked. Correa has set his sights on the nando Allende is cautiously opti-
“Well over ten percent of the pub- market. He wants to invite new mistic.He says that air quality is still
lic transport vehicles fail the test tenders for public transport licen- very poor, but that there have
and have to visit 3CV,” Mario Pa- ces according to areas. Foreign been improvements over the twelve
rada of the Departamento de providers are to be given an years in which readings have been
Fiscalizatión says. Inspections do opportunity as well.This is a truly recorded – in spite of the fact that
not always work.The Chilean gov- drastic change. the city has been growing and
ernment awards licences to pri- Entrepreneur Edgardo Rivera, traffic has been on the increase.
vate inspection firms that issue who operates 20 buses together Allende states that depending on
inspection certificates. A bus insp- with a partner and manages a the pollutant, there has been a
ection station in Santiago had further 80, is not willing to join reduction of ten to 45 percent.
to close temporarily because of forces with his hard-baked col- Rodrigo Pizarro of the NGO Fun-
irregularities. Nevertheless, the leagues. He is nevertheless critical dación Terram also confirms that
inspections are having an impact. of the new policy, holding that reducing particle emissions has
Cheating one’s way around the the government is bent on im- been particularly successful, and
Revisión Técnica can be expen- plementing its plans in a one- not only in road traffic.
sive. Offering bribes will be to no sided and technocratic manner With agreements on cleaner
avail because Chile’s police are and without seeking a consen- production, the Chilean govern-
known not to be corrupt. sus. Rivera claims that it is also ment aims to reduce industrial
Powerful lobbies are putting ignoring that private car traffic waste-gas emissions – also
up a struggle against regulations is responsible for a greater share with GTZ as service provider –
and inspections. Chile’s former of environmental pollution than and improve working conditions.
Transport Minister, Germán Correa, bus transport. So public passen- Since 1999, an agreement ad-
who is now in charge of the ger transport should be given clear dressing these issues has been
reorganisation of local public priority in comparison to car in force with the important foun-
transport in Santiago, has already transport. Edgardo Rivera calls this dries. One of them is the family
identified his chief opponent: an “integrated transport policy” . company Fundación Las Rosas
the bus company mafia. Eager However, Frank Dursbeck sees a in Malloco, on the outskirts of
to make short-term profits, this danger of the reform being delay- Santiago. Presenting the newly
organisation opposes any reor- ed and diluted if it is not imple- installed equipment, company
ganisation of public local trans- mented in a determined manner. head Rodrigo de la Fuente Raab
stresses the key problem. His for greater integration of the AMA. Environmental policy res-
company caters for the national handful of NGOs into the political ponsibilities and competencies
market. But his clients are indif- process. Another issue it regards are not always clearly defined
ferent towards environmental as urgent is getting the popula- in Chile.
criteria. All they are interested tion more involved. However, all actors agree that
in is the price. “As long as the there are crucial steps towards
GTZ: an unblased broker
same rules do not apply for all a permanent improvement of air
suppliers, I am exposed to unfair CONAMA Metropolitana, which quality that have yet to be made.
competition with my company,” is responsible for the Santiago Further standards and moni-
maintains Fuente Raab. region, is an important GTZ part- toring procedures must be intro-
“The greater frequency of smog ner. Since there is no environ- duced and improved. After the
alarms, which also results from ment ministry in Chile, CONAMA many minor and major successes
a lower smog early warning is, inevitably, the first institutional scored on the way towards
threshold, often creates the im- contact whenever environmental better air, it is now up to the
pression among the population policy is concerned. However, the Chilean government to make the
that air quality has deteriorated,” question remains what authority next move.The foundations that
says Frank Dursbeck. Karin Gauer, and what forms of political pres- policies can be developed on
who heads the GTZ team in the sure CONOMA can exert on the have been set.
Chilean-German project, con- ministries. State under-secretary
cedes that there are still phases Guillermo Díaz maintains that The author is a freelance journalist
of very high pollution, but that with CONAMA, environmental who lives in Berlin.
they have become shorter. She policy has been established as a
stresses that the public have to cross-sectoral task in relation to
be made more aware of the en- the ministries. Javier García and
vironment policy decisions, the Claudio Blanco of CONAMA
problems and the success that point out that problems with the
has already been achieved. distribution of responsibilities
As far as air quality is concerned, between the individual ministries
demonstrable progress has been and CONAMA do exist. Rodrigo
made. Pizarro is critical that CONAMA
NGOs play hardly any role in is of hardly any importance
developing and implementing politically because it has no right
environmental policy. Allende says to veto. He says that all important
that there is no relevant range decisions are made by the minis-
of organisations in this sector. tries. And the institutions respon-
Chile also lacks any broad-based, sible for controls and implemen-
organised ecological movement. tation are scattered among
A 2001 survey of the UN eco- different ministries and not im-
nomics commission CEPAL calls mediately subordinated to CON-
9 akzente special
A s far as Roland Haas is concerned, three argu-
ments speak against air pollution in Malaysia:
A full range of the large share of the population with asthma,
the expenses arising for the national economy
and “my own nose” For Haas suffers from the
measures to pre- exhaust gases in the centre of Kuala Lumpur, the
capital of this Southeast Asian country. When
vent air pollution his sense of smell is once again being put under
duress,“the bus operators are my enemies,” Haas
claims. Actually, he is grinning when he says this,
In comparison to Santiago de Chile and for this man cannot afford to have any real enemies.
On the contrary, as the GTZ team leader in the
Mexico City, Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur Malaysian-German Air Pollution Control project,
is a health resort. This augurs well for pre- the Chief Technical Adviser, which is what it says
ventive environmental protection, which takes on his visiting card, tends to be rather more of
all facets of air pollution control into account. The task he and his partners are facing over the
Long-term concepts could turn the country next three-and-a-half years can hardly be surpass-
into an example for the entire region. ed in terms of complexity. What is at stake is
no more and no less than air purity throughout
Malaysia.“We have excluded the haze resulting
Christoph Hein, text | Uwe Rau, photos from the burning of forests, above all in neigh-
bouring Indonesia, as a special issue. But with the
exception of that, we are interested in every kind
of air pollution,” says the 47-year-old.
The title of the Malaysian-German develop-
ment project that GTZ has been commissioned
to support by the Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is “Air
Pollution Control in Malaysian Cities: Transport tem to control air pollution in Mexico City,” says
and Industry” Its contents affect almost every Haas. Later on, Santiago de Chile became the
aspect of modern business life. The project ad- next project of that type. It was at this point that
dresses cars and chemical factories, buses and he was really taken with the complex issues
palm oil manufacturers, catalytic converters and involved. They refused to let him go.
flue gas desulphurating, fuel quality and transport The intensity of technical cooperation is forging
planning. Not only is the list of topics long, the links. Today, Haas has a network of specialists that
list of contacts is as well.“We have talks with the he can consult.“They are my Air Pollution Control
government and industry, with syndicates, Flying Circus,” he jokes, referring to the British
investors and journalists, and with students and comedians around Monty Python. The notion
ambassadors.”The topic of air pollution has to of him as a circus director is not entirely inappro-
be communicated at all levels. And this means priate. For it outlines Haas’ concept of modern
that in addition to the moderator, a specialist project work:“Normally, it is enough to have a
is also required for communication aspects for single expert on site who can get advice and
environmental protection and urban transport support from outside at any time while attempts
planning as well as for organisational develop- are made in parallel to integrate local experts.”
ment. And what should not be forgotten is the Not only does this approach, which can perhaps
technician who is familiar with motors, and the best be described as lean, cut costs. It also ensures
diplomat who wins over ministers. that international top-class specialists can always
be consulted for those issues they are really
A network of experts
needed for: to describe the problem, for solution
Roland Haas, originally a forwarding agent by proposals and for canvassing. In Malaysia, Fer-
profession who has now been with GTZ for nearly nando Menéndez, who used to be head of the
20 years, worked as a transport economist after Environmental Commission for the Metropolitan
graduating in economics. In Zambia, Somalia and Area of Mexico City, had already joined in twice
Saudi Arabia, he was involved in developing na- when important workshops were held. Since the
tional transport plans. It was almost inevitable successful technical cooperation on Air Pollution
that he should focus his attention on environ- Control in Mexico City, this Mexican has been
mental protection and on becoming a specialist “something of a specialist shadow” to Haas.
on air pollution control.“In 1989, GTZ commenced
A model for prevention
the first project to set up and implement a sys-
Anyone who is familiar with the traffic gridlock
in Manila, pollution in Jakarta and traffic jams in
Bangkok will inevitably ask why GTZ wants to help
clean the air in Malaysia, of all places. In Kuala
Lumpur, in a green city.“At first, that was exactly
what I asked myself, too,” the GTZ team leader says.
“After Mexico, I had the feeling that I was involved
in air “purification” in a health resort,” he laughs. But
then he gets serious again: “For one thing, as yet
we are not at all certain what the air here contains.
And another aspect is that Malaysia can turn into
a wonderful example of preventive environmental
protection before everything is too late, serving
as a model for other countries in the region.”
Unlike the neighbouring model state of
Singapore, which is often regarded as somewhat
patronising in the region, what Malaysia has
achieved and how it has developed is regarded
as exemplary by many countries. For Malaysia is a
typical emerging country with rapid industrial
development that training levels of people in many
areas have ultimately failed to keep pace with. “This
is where we have a role to play,” Haas maintains.
“The country has enough potential. It only needs
to be recognised, promoted and made use of.”
Since the Asian economic crisis, the country has
recovered by pursuing a rigid policy of isolation
and enhancing domestic demand. The Gross
Domestic Product is expected to grow by at least
four percent this year. What appears to be a good
prospect for people at first glance does in fact
11 akzente special
bear enormous and partly invisible long-term fulfils the legal standards,” says Haas. Only the
risks. For instance, car sales are estimated to have commercially used diesel vehicles are required
increased by at least six percent to around to have exhaust gas inspections twice a year.
420,000 units in 2002. In Malaysia, a car is a status And here, they can fiddle. In the case of cars, the
symbol that demonstrates power and bears regulations only apply to new vehicles. But, for
a virtually limitless fun factor.“The country is car example, even the new but technically rather
crazy,” says Haas. And what he means by this is ,
obsolete Proton “Saga” Malaysia’s VW Beetle, still
that only a loud exhaust pipe is a good one. roars through the streets of the city without
The attitude the Germans had towards their being forced to comply with the standards for
NSU Prinz in the sixties and to their Opel Manta newly developed vehicles.
in the eighties is coming back with a vengeance The GTZ team leader is no spoilsport. True,
in Malaysia. And this is creating new problems. he doesn’t like Formula I, which runs on the new
circuit in Sepang, the pride of the country, as South-
The law and reality
East Asia’s only Grand Prix. The circuit is not far
However, the country is not starting from scratch from his office. Haas calls it “a symbol of motor-
in environmental protection. In 1974, the Malaysian mania” . Nevertheless he does not want to see cars
government passed the “Environmental Quality banned altogether. Rather, they ought to be im-
Act” which represented a modern and far-reaching
, proved technically. “A catalytic converter must be
set of regulations at the time. Only recently, a matter of course, and we have to introduce the
the “National Policy on the Environment” was standards Euro III and, in the long run, Euro IV,”
published. It provides for an extensive public edu- says Haas, but adds that “it is not only the catalytic
cation campaign on the situation. .
converter that makes us really happy” Far more
“Actually, they’re good here,” Haas says. is at stake than an “end of the pipe” solution, filters
The regulations and laws are all in place. The Euro at the end of the exhaust pipes or chimneys.
I exhaust gas standard was introduced in 1998, “If we have regulations on the improvement of
seven years later than in Europe. Euro II followed fuel quality by July 2003, then I have really paid
in 2001, five years after Europe. There are environ- my way. And it really would be superb if we could
mental laws, lead-free petrol has been available manage to develop a corresponding monitoring
since 1998, and the environmental authority is and enforcement programme in addition.”
currently increasing its staff by 1,000 to a total
of 1,500. Nevertheless,“a lot only exists on paper”.
For there are still problems in implementation at In the long run, an overall concept will be
a practical level. needed. The Malaysian-German programme has
For example, air quality readings are taken, a very broad approach. Swift improvements are
but they have not been published since 1999. one aspect. In the medium term, the GTZ team
Another example is cars. There are no prototype and its counterparts are asking themselves where
tests in which new models are thoroughly inspec- industrial sites should be developed, where
ted by an independent authority before they residential areas would be preferable and how
are approved for the market.“In other words, the traffic flows can be managed. Over the next few
companies operating here give themselves their years, two or three cities will be selected as model
own stamp of approval that their new model cities with a future based upon an urban devel-
opment plan. “We want to develop an overall
Measures to prevent air pollution strategy up to the level of urban development in
advance,” Haas explains.“It could take one or two
Air Pollution Control for Malaysian Cities: Transport and Industry decades before it has an impact.”
The goal: The objective of the project is to strengthen The GTZ team leader carries out his day-to-day
the effort of Malaysian authorities to improve the air quality work in a modern office in Putrajaya. This is the
in Malaysian cities. country’s pompous seat of government. It was
developed on the drawing board and is situated
The concept: The project aims at all aspects of air pollution 40 kilometres away from the city gates of Kuala
control: emission standards and enforcement for vehicles and Lumpur. Here, the trees are still young, and the
industries, fuel quality, urban development and transport lakes are artificial. But the air is cleaner than in
planning, social participation and communication, data quality, the capital. When Haas looks out of the window,
regional environmental management and technology transfer he sees the Ministry of Transport. The project is
as well as cooperation with the private sector. based in the Department of the Environment
The Partners: The Department of Environment of the Ministry at the Ministry of Science, Technology and the
of Science, Technology and the Environment (MOSTE), Environment.“We have received a warm welcome
universities, the private sector here, and we are being taken very seriously,”
the GTZ official sums up his experience during
The costs: 2.5 mill. euro for one long-term expert for up to the first few months. The project is based on
four years and numerous short-term consultants government negotiations between Germany
(local, regional and international), information visits, etc. and Malaysia in the spring of 1998. The German
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and added to the 800 million ringgit that the haze
Development (BMZ) is supporting the project alone produced by the forests being burnt
with 2.5 million euro for four years. down costs each year. But well over one-and-
Now that the infrastructure has been establish- a-half billion ringgit is a huge amount of money
ed, the foundations for the project’s own activities for an emerging country like Malaysia. Moreover,
have to be created. This includes an ongoing the data show that the asthma rate here is above
dialogue with a wide variety of groups in order to 4.2 percent. In comparison, it is 1.5 percent in
draw the attention of the public at large to the Germany.“Now we need new data that we our-
issue of preventing air pollution. In addition, data selves gather and then have evaluated,” Haas says.
have to be gathered and an emissions inventory “Once we have it, and therefore also the inventory,
compiled.“In simple terms, in order to decide we can pinpoint the shortcomings.”
whether you first of all want to deal with industry
or the vehicle owners, you must know what the
air actually contains.” There are 50 air measuring However, collecting the data is merely the
monitoring stations throughout the country. beginning of this Sisyphean task. In order to
Each of them has a value of around 100,000 euro. ensure that petrol is clean, the project staff have
But only one of them stands in the city of Kuala to talk to the Ministry for International Trade and
Lumpur, and only three in the Klang Valley, the the Ministry for Domestic Trade, with the Ministry
metropolitan area of Kuala Lumpur. Not enough, of Transport and the Ministry of Energy as well
since more than three million people live there as with the fiscal authorities. And of course with
and own more than 1.8 million vehicles. the manufacturers themselves.
“The Malaysians are now fitting an existing air There do not seem to be any reservations against
monitoring vehicle with new equipment,” says advice from Germany:“Nobody over here will
Haas. A German specialist will then be flown in to turn down help if it really is helpful,” says Jarina
assist in planning and implementing the mobile Mohammed Jani. This assistant of the team leader
measuring programme. has worked for environmental NGOs for a long
“The data is very important. Not only does it pro- time.“The people here must not think: first we
vide clues to the urgency of the individual stages had the Japanese, then the Americans, and now
of activities, but it is also an argumentative aid in it is the Germans’ turn,” Jani says.“Here, we have to
our talks with politicians,” says Haas. Here, he sees prove daily that we are serious about things and
himself in the right position: “GTZ is free of partic- that we are here to stay.”
ular interests. I do not have to give special consid- What is also helpful is that the activities to prevent
eration to anyone in my arguments – this is what air pollution have useful side-effects. Environmental
I find especially interesting.” Here, the moderator protection is not opposed to industry.“This is al-
can become very outspoken: “We have to show the ready a truism nowadays,” Haas says.“We also want
politician that he will poison his children and those to open up market opportunities.” For instance, he
of his fellow countrymen if he does not change will bring together a German medium-sized man-
his policies. We have to show the entrepreneur ufacturer of catalytic converters with a Malaysian
that he himself is partly to blame for the expen- producer of exhaust pipes – and is also looking
sive sick leave of his staff by polluting the air.” forward to permanent relations at this level.
Data is on hand to underscore this. Two older
studies show that air pollution is costing the The author is the economics correspondent of the
government an annual 800 million ringgit, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung for the region of
equivalent of 210 million euro. This has to be South-East Asia and China. He lives in Singapore.
13 akzente special
Measuring labs on patrol
The analysis took a year. Afterwards,
an accurate stocktaking of air
pollution in Damascus was on hand.
These records are a first for Syria.
There is no Syrian city in which the
experts are harder upon the heels of
the air polluters.
Elena Kurze, text | Sébastien Hauwaert, photos
I t’s rush-hour in Damascus.
In the historic centre of Syria’s
capital, the cars are having a
Ministry in Damascus, supervise
15 air quality monitoring stations.
The locations they drive to are
hard time weaving their way part of a Syrian-German Air
along the arterial roads, which Quality Monitoring Programme
are completely blocked even that the BMZ commissioned to
when traffic is normal. The route GTZ in 1997.
out of town leads through the The initial one-year analysis
imposing city gates. At peak phase yielded a detailed inven-
periods, air pollution is especially tory of ambient air pollution
strong around these bottle- in Damascus. The data is all the
necks. more important since such
The Bab Touma city gate is high-quality material has not
the junction with the highest been gathered in any other city
pollution levels. In none of the in Syria yet. GTZ provided the
city’s other districts do so many technical equipment and spe-
pollutants float around in the air cialist advice and training of
as they do here. This is why the the staff from the Environment
hotspot Bab Touma belongs to Ministry and its technical envir-
the daily compulsory programme onment authority.
of the mobile measuring lab still have to do a lot more re- Small environmental hazards.
A city map with unknowns
that GTZ is assisting with funds search. What we really could do Domestic diesel stoves are the second
provided by the German Federal Once the mobile monitoring with is 600 permanent sampling biggest polluters in Syria.
The fuel they use emits hight leverls of
Ministry for Economic Coopera- unit has completed its tour of stations, like in Berlin, to gain sulphur dioxide.
tion and Development (BMZ). the everyday traffic jams, the a detailed picture of what air
Two measuring instruments computers at the environmental pollution is like.”The environ-
that look like antennae trace the authority are fed with the latest mental experts hope that they
dangerous pollutants: sulphur daily data. For one year, the eva- will be able to extend their
dioxide, nitrogen monoxide, luations have been producing mission and their technical
nitrogen dioxide, carbon mono- the same picture. Rawnak Jab- capacities. Three permanent
xide and particulate matter. bour knows the districts with a monitoring stations are to be
After a half-hour detection high level of combustion gases added.
phase, the lab team withdraws only all too well. Together with The programme to monitor
the measuring probes again her male colleagues, this staff air quality is to provide those pol-
and drives on to the next traffic member is compiling the topo- itically responsible in Syria with
junction. graphic maps with a computer meaningful data on which to
Ahmed Kamel and Rawnak programme. “We are only ge- base their environmental policy
Jabbour, the two scientific assis- tting a short glance,” Rawnak decisions. The situation in Da-
tants from the Environment Jabbour says, and she adds: “We mascus is critical. In the Eastern
Mediterranean region, the the concentration of particulate consumption is the most im- quality of the fuel used in the city.
Syrian capital heads the list as matter is three times the level portant indicator in a realistic Today, around 17,000 mini-
far as air pollution is concerned. of the German standard,” says comparison,” says engineer buses are run in Damascus. Their
A disproportionately high popu- Rawnak Jabbour. It is above Ahmed Kamel. He is involved numbers are rising by around
lation growth of 3.7 percent all the diesel-powered vehicles in an in-depth analysis of these 25 percent a year. Competition
as well as economic growth in that contribute to air pollution. problems in a seminar run by among the private minibus ope-
all branches of industry have “The poor quality of fuels GTZ in Berlin. rators keeps the fares low. The
exacerbated the environmental extracted in our country has public transport network of Da-
Small buses with a big impact
problems and, therefore, the a considerable impact on air mascus, which had been working
need to take action. Four issues pollution“, he adds. The minibuses are notorious fairly well until the beginning
are at the top of the list: a cata- There are far fewer cars in air polluters. Each of these buses of the eighties, fell into decline
logue of air quality standards, Damascus than in European covers 400 kilometres a day, owing to flagging investment.
an improved public transport cities with a similar number of running on diesel fuel from Nowadays, convoys of mini-
system, alternatives to heating inhabitants. Compared to Berlin, Syria that has a particularly high buses are a ubiquitous feature
with diesel stoves and more there is 14 times less road traffic level of pollutants. But emissions of Syria. Serious consideration
stringent measures to deal with in Damascus. But in spite of a inspections are not compulsory, must be given to how they can
polluters. significantly lower vehicle den- and catalytic converters are be regulated while the attrac-
Road traffic is the worst air sity, Damascus has the same lev- too expensive. Moreover, they tiveness of public transport is
polluter. “In a number of zones, el of fuel consumption. “Petrol have not been adapted to the simultaneously enhanced.
15 akzente special
“One minibus is operated by A campaign to phase out “We want to persuade people
three families. Day and night diesel stoves to buy solar systems,” the
rides are dealt with in shifts,” The diesel stoves are the sec- engineer says. However, owing
says Yahia Awaidah, who is the ond biggest polluters. They also to the high import tax, they are
Syrian co-ordinator of the envi- strongly contaminate the air still too expensive at the mo-
ronmental programmes. He with sulphur dioxide. There is ment. Kamel:“The solar systems
stresses that 51,000 families hardly a private household in ought to be produced domes-
would have a problem with Damascus that does not use tically so that we can achieve
income “if we were to consider Mazut, which is what the fuel is a minimum price level for the
withdrawing the minibuses” . called in Syria, for heating in the whole of Syria.” Electric heating
Yahia Awaidah refers to the so- cold months from November is a further alternative. But at
cial aspect of the forthcoming to March. The stoves, which do present, switching to electricity
environmental campaigns as not cost more than 25 euro, only pays its way for very small
“a veritable challenge“. This is can be bought everywhere in homes with several cohabitants
why the programme has adop- town. And Mazut is cheap as or for companies with cramped
ted a two-track approach. Invest- well. office facilities. Finding suitable
ments in public transport are Now, the Syrian Environment solutions is difficult. And then
to generate new jobs. Loosen- Ministry has planned a cam- there are the bureaucratic
ing of import tariff regulations paign to get rid of the diesel obstacles. The more ministries
for minibus operators will stoves. Ahmed Kamel intends are involved in the decision-
provide incentives to invest in to draw the population’s atten- making process, the longer it
new vehicles. Soon, lead-free tion to affordable alternatives. takes.
petrol will be available at filling
stations in all of the major
Only around half a dozen filling
stations offer lead-free petrol
in Damascus. And as yet, some
places in the country have not
made any preparations in this
respect, which makes longer
journeys difficult. “It is still early
days,” says Ahmed Kamel.
Basic data for environmental
The context: Environmental politicians in
Syria lack reliable data they can base decisions
on for air pollution control in the country’s
large cities and industrial areas.
The goal: An environmental programme
finances viable approaches out of a fund for
The concept: GTZ consultants support the
government in designing project approaches,
defining areas of activity, making appraisals
and working out concepts and implementing
them as pilot projects.
The partners: The Syrian Ministry of the
Environment and its bodies, district
administrations and local communities.
The cost: GTZ is supporting Technical
Cooperation in the Environmental Protection
Programme for the urban and industrial
sector in Syria with 1.7 million euro.
Alarming waste studies
The open landfill to the north of the Syrian city of stances, which certainly represents a health
Homs covers the nearby residential districts with hazard,” says Al-Hussein. “When we look at the
stench. The smell comes from the organic waste location chosen in the past for fertiliser produc-
that the abattoirs dispose of there,” says Moham- tion, all we can say is that this was more than just
mad Ali Al-Hussein, deputy head of the City of a mistake,” says Yahia Awaidah at the Ministry
Homs Environmental Authority. The mixture of of the Environment in Damascus. So far, no
rotting organic substances, waste containing special criteria have been applied in selecting
heavy metals and household rubbish is contami- industrial zones. But this is going to change,Yahia
nating the groundwater. Awaidah maintains.
The local environmental directorate would like to The population is getting increasingly angry
have the problem solved as soon as possible. about environmental pollution. It has called on
A GTZ study revealed the magnitude of environ- the government to take tougher action. Charges
mental pollution in Homs as well as in the towns pressed by residents affected have revealed
of Tartous and Banias. First of all, Homs’ old open many instances of environmental pollution.
landfill is to be sealed. In addition, GTZ con- However, Yahia Awaidah complains that environ-
sultants suggested that waste be treated mental legislation makes no provisions for any
mechanically and biologically in order to keep sentencing. Nevertheless, it has been possible
the volume of waste small, and that this be achiev- to close down two state cement factories that
ed at minimum cost. Since March 2002, a staff had been proven to have committed environ-
member of the Centrrum für Internationale Mi- mental offences. “However, this has to be done
very diplomatically. And in no circumstances do
we wish to create the impression that we are
Now, after nine years, the working against industry,” says Awaidah. Private
much-needed investments enterprises appear to be more willing to com-
in public transport have been pare the consequences of threatening downtime
made: 600 new buses upgrade with expenditure required for more environ-
the urban bus fleet.The national mentally friendly production than the state
action plan for the environ- enterprises are.
ment that the Syrian govern-
Adviser for small businesses
ment developed jointly with
the United Nations Develop- In Syria, GTZ is promoting urban and industrial
ment Programme (UNDP) environmental protection by providing consulta-
and the World Bank has a much tion for small and medium-sized enterprises.
greater volume. gration und Entwicklung (CIM) has been in Syria Around 5,000 workshops have established them-
The rise in the national to optimise waste management methods on the selves in the industrial zone on the outskirts
budget for the environment spot. of Homs, which is already 30 years old. On aver-
to 500 million Syrian pounds – The waste problem is especially serious in the in- age, each company has ten staff. Project member
six times more than in the past dustrial location of Homs, Syria’s third largest Mohammad Ali-Al-Hussein is giving advice to
– comes at the right moment. town. It is the site of the country’s most impor- several enterprises operating in the field of
Syria is making up for time tant oil refinery, which is also held to be the re- recycling and reuse of material. His advisory
it has lost in environmental gion’s worst air polluter. The textiles and sugar activities have paid their way. Next to the express-
protection. manufacturing companies are creating problems way to Damascus, around 40 km south of
as well. Nearly all the industrial companies Damascus, a newly designated industrial zone
The author is a freelance journalist discharge their water from the production pro- has been developed since 2002.
who is based in Brussels. cess into the Orantes River without having it
filtered, or they let it seep into the surrounding Suleiman Kalo says that incidents occur relatively
fields. Engineer Suleiman Kalo and chemist seldom in zones like these with a straightforward
Al-Hussein know that the two largest fertiliser concept. The head of the environmental author-
manufacturers in Homs contribute their fair ity in Homs is rather more concerned about
share to environmental pollution as well.The two “one and a half million tons of phosphorous that
men used to work for the fertiliser industry before has simply been left to rot four miles away from
taking up responsible posts in Syrian environ- the factory“. Or about the oil refinery’s com-
mental administration in the Homs region. bustion generator failing. For extremely highly
Many substances and by-products of the contaminated oil sludge then escapes into the
fertiliser industry are very complex and pose environment. The storage tanks arriving weeks
health risks. Temporarily, they are bunkered in later are just a temporary solution. “We have no
the desert.“Together with our German partners, real scope of action,” says Kalo.
we are presently looking for specific solutions to
defuse this volatile mixture of chemical sub- Elena Kurze
17 akzente special
Breathing in the smog
Mexico City more or less stands for smog
in conurbations. Its fast-growing industry
and rapidly increasing traffic are stifling
the inhabitants of the metropolis.
Following a decade of systematic analysis
and forward-looking planning, improve-
ments are now in sight. Integrated air
pollution control programmes have taken
the sting out of the alarming pollutant levels.
T he Mexican government’s
emergency programme was
called “Red Alert” This drastic
almost four percent annually.
And every day, more than 3.5
million cars are driven around
title was prompted by the fact the city. The biggest problem
that air pollution had reached is ozone pollution, which has
an extent in Mexico City in reached enormous levels and
1989 that had left the Mexican often enough exceeds air quality
government with no other standards three to four fold.
option but to pull the emergency The Mexican authorities had
brake. Pollution in the mega- already started to monitor and
city with 18 million inhabitants analyse increasing air pollution
was two to three times above in the eighties. Since 1989, a
accepted international values. legally prescribed exhaust gas
When the authorities sound- test has been statutory for all
ed the "Red Alert", every car was powered vehicles. However,
prescribed a one-day driving when the anti-smog programme,
ban each week in order to tack- which was given wide inter-
le air pollution with sulphur, national support, got off the
carbon monoxide, ozone and ground, it once again became
other substances that are health apparent that neither the data
hazards. However, the prescribed basis of the emission register
compulsory break was not near- nor the efficiency of the exhaust
ly enough. Small wonder really, gas tests were sufficiently main-
for more and more companies tained. Therefore, GTZ and the
were settling in the low-lying TÜV (the German authority that
valley of the mega-city. Today, does technical vehicle inspec-
there are over 30,000. The popu- tions) initially helped to extend
lation is growing at a rate of and upgrade the measuring
19 akzente special
station network. State-of-the-art extracted at the petrol pumps More stringent checks and
exhaust gas measuring appara- via modern suction nozzles. emission limits have also been
tus safeguarded against manip- The governments of Mexico in force for industry since 1993.
ulation was procured, and the City and the neighbouring It has been estimated that around
testing centres were re-organ- Federal state therefore decided 20 percent of PM-10 emissions
ised. to introduce the modern suction are due to the 4,000 stationary
Today, Mexico City has one nozzle technology in the Mexico sources in the region. A depart-
of the most modern networks City area. Funding was secured ment of the Mexican Environ-
for air pollutant monitoring with by a special levy on petrol. mental Ministry of Health is
around 40 measuring stations. The curbs that have been controlling firms ranging from
The new emissions register imposed on road traffic range the small and medium-sized
provided what first appeared from the complete phasing out enterprises in the residential
to be a surprising result. It was of leaded petrol through driving areas to the large-scale compa-
demonstrated that the hydro- bans on one working day of nies of the food and chemicals
carbon vapours emitted when the week for all vehicles that do branches. This authority will not
the cars were filled at petrol not meet prescribed exhaust hesitate to suspend production
stations represented the second- gas standards to the compulsory if a company fails to comply
largest emission source in the fitting of catalytic converters. with its requirements and con-
urban area. Owing to obsolescent In one of the few clear days, tinues to emit more than 117
equipment, huge amounts of the inhabitants of Mexico City milligrams of PM10 per cubic
these vapours, which are formed can admire an impressive pano- metre of air into the sky.
above the fuel level, are were rama.The massive volcanoes of Now, industrial firms have to
released in Mexico City from the Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl convert their industrial plant
tanks of cars, filling stations and tower majestically over Mexico’s step-by-step to environmentally
industrial plants.The released capital.The 18-million-inhabitant friendly fuel consumption and
vapours, dangerous precursor metropolis is surrounded by lower their production by 30
substances for the formation of a magnificent backdrop of five percent if a smog alarm is raised.
ozone, can however now be thousand metre mountains. But In the meantime, air quality
only all too often, it is impossible has improved considerably in
for the people of Mexico City Mexico City, where the number
to admire this grand prospect. of days with a smog alarm drop-
If the weather is inclement, the ped from 77 in 1991 to three
mountains prevent air exchange, in 1999. It will take a long while
so that yellowish brown smog before the all-clear can be sound-
usually hovers over the city. ed. Nevertheless, the figures
And the longer there is no wind speak for themselves.
blowing, the thicker and more
dangerous the mixture of pol- The Cologne-based author
lutants becomes. is a journalist specialising in
A tour de force in Mexico City
In smog, particles are invol-
ved that are smaller than
ten micrometres (PM10) and
Spot checks on motorists. Policemen and technicions
controll cars as an emission source in Mexico City.
21 akzente special
The mantra of energy saving
More than two-thirds of India’s electricity comes from technologically obsolescent
coal-fired power stations. The environmental hazards pollute the air, and there
is no telling when this will stop. On the contrary, industrialisation is eating up more and
more energy. Saving energy and environmental protection are an indivisible issue.
Rainer Hörig, text | Oliver Soulas, photos
E ach winter, a ten million square kilometre
bubble of dust, soot and poisonous gases
develops above the North of the Indian Ocean.
Huge black pits have been eaten into the ground,
and dust and soot darken the tropical sun. Most
of the inhabitants are crowded into shabby colonies
In the spring of 2001, an international team of around vast mountain ranges of detritus. Just two
scientists came to the conclusion that,“given the generations ago, smallholders were tending their
size of the population, the situation in Asia is be- parcels of land here, and the original inhabitants
coming more and more threatening” Is there still were gathering honey and herbs in the forest. In
time to stop the collapse of the world’s climate? the late fifties, a large-scale dam banked up the
The World Health Organization (WHO) claims water of the River Rihand. Later, rich coal deposits
that India’s largest metropolises, Mumbai, New were discovered close to the artificial lake that
Delhi and Calcutta, with more than ten million could be used to generate electricity.
inhabitants each, already rank among the cities Today, five large-scale power stations, an alu-
with the highest levels of air pollution world- minium smelting plant, two cement factories and
wide. The biggest environmental hazards are car a chemical factory stand on the shores of the lake.
traffic and the energy industry. Almost two-thirds The power stations, which have a total output
of India’s power supply is provided by tech- of 7,000 megawatts, are supplied with fuel from
nologically obsolescent coal-fired power stations. nine coal mines via conveyor belts, and they are
Millions of cars, lorries and scooters billowing cooled with water out of the lake. They burn
forth fumes and several thousands of factories 27 million tons of hard coal a year, and more than
craving energy are polluting the air. Even the 20,000 tons of ash containing heavy metals
villages suffer from smog in an inversion climate accumulate every day. It is mixed with water and
during the winter. The rural households cook their then pumped into giant sedimentation basins
meals on countless open fires that are fuelled with on the shores of the artificial Rihand Lake. Since
wood, dried cow-dung or harvest waste. the pipes sometimes leak and bursting dams
Singrauli is India’s energy capital. Rows and rows or flooding occasionally wash away large quanti-
of chimney-stacks reach into the sky on the edge ties of the poisonous sludge, the groundwater
of the Ganges Plain, south of the city of Varanasi. in Singrauli is now contaminated over wide areas.
23 akzente special
In the artificial lake, a drinking-water reservoir
for a million people, experts have detected traces
of poisonous substances including cadmium,
arsenic and nickel.
Germany is involved in developing the Indian
energy sector, a task that figures high in bilateral
development cooperation. In 1961, the German
Development Ministry started to support Indian
manufacturers of turbines, coal mines and the
construction of power stations, spending more
than a billion euro in all. Well over 87 million
euro in German taxpayers’ money flowed into
the Singrauli project. This policy secured many
a contract for German plant and equipment
makers.“Half of the output currently installed
in Indian fuelled power stations is based on
Siemens technology,” says Harminder Singh,
who is responsible for the power station sector
at Siemens India.
Focusing more on energy efficiency
Unlike in most industrialised countries, India’s
economic growth of five to seven percent a year
is still closely linked to an increase in energy
consumption. And because the population is still
growing rapidly at around two percent a year
and the country’s industry wants to catch up with
the lead the industrialised nations enjoy and
hold its own in international competition, the
government has planned a massive expansion
of energy capacities.“We intend to increase the
generating capacity of our power stations from
a current 100,000 MW to double that amount
over the next ten years,” India’s Energy Minister
Suresh Prabhu announced, and on the occasion
of Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s visit
in October 2001, he invited German industry to
participate in the mammoth programme. This
was a tempting offer, although it did have its
pitfalls. Again and again, German energy corpora-
tions have been the target of criticism from
environmentalists and human rights campaigners
for getting involved in controversial power
station schemes in India, such as the dams on
the Narmada River and in Tehri.
Forced expulsion because of large-scale projects,
mismanagement in inflated administrative
bodies, brazen theft of electricity by slum in-
habitants and industrial corporations or everyday
power cuts suffice to demonstrate that India’s
energy sector is in a severe crisis. The country
urgently requires better power supply. For years,
experts have demanded that the public electricity
industry be privatised, but following the energy
crisis California experienced early in 2001 and
the first and largest private power station project,
in Dhabol/Maharashtra, going bankrupt, this
mantra has lost its appeal. Although it seems
certain that India will be building several more
coal-fired power stations over the next few years,
a new idea is gaining more and more ground
that could render some of the environmentally
harmful large-scale projects superfluous: saving New Delhi set up a new department, the Energy
energy. Conservation Cell.“It is much cheaper to save
“Energy is used very inefficiently in India,” says a megawatt of electricity than to produce it,” says
Girish Sant, a young engineer who deals with the its Director, Shashi Shekhar, and adds:“We have
energy industry from the consumer perspective launched a programme to modernise existing
in the citizen’s action group Prayas-Pune.“Industry power stations and grids. The recently approved
is working with obsolescent machinery, pumps Law on Energy Saving obliges certain corpora-
and motors. The irrigation pumps used in agricul- tions to conduct an energy audit and defines
ture have a ridiculously low level of efficiency,” standards for the energy consumption of mass
he maintains.“Private households are wasting consumer goods that will later on be reflected
electricity with conventional light-bulbs and in labels for the consumer. The newly established
technically obsolescent household appliances.” Office for Energy Efficiency is responsible for
With his colleagues from Prayas-Pune, Girish developing these standards.”
Sant initiated a survey of the energy sector in the It is two hours by car to the small town of Hapur,
Federal State of Maharashtra, and he worked out east of New Delhi. Century Laminates Limited
the costs of expanding and improving power are the largest local employers, with a staff of
supply using 16 different scenarios. He concludes: 800 employees.“We manufacture laminates for
“The cheapest way is to save energy, and it is also the furniture industry,” says plant superintendent
the most environmentally friendly way. Determined Nagendra Singh, and adds that the factory is the
saving could reduce additional energy demand largest of its kind in India.
by 30 to 40 percent.” Century Laminates are the market leaders in
During the nineties, the World Bank established India, and run a modern plant. The factory yard
a potential of just under a third for India’s is spick-and-span, while the workplaces with the
industry to save energy. The Energy Ministry in gluing and hot-pressing machines are well illumi-
25 akzente special
nated and ventilated. Daily power consumption
is at 10,000 kilowatt hours. In order to become
independent of the irregular and strongly
fluctuating public power supply, the company
operates its own diesel generator, which provides
power for 150 electric motors as well as other
installations. A steam boiler fired with wood chips
provides the process heat required for pressing
and gluing, which is a novelty.“This fuel is both
environmentally friendly and cheap,” says Nagen-
“The company spends an annual 25 million
rupies on energy,” states Rajesh Jain. This is the
equivalent of well over half a million euro.
This young energy consultant, who has been
examining the laminate factory for three months,
comes up with a huge potential to save energy.
“Our analysis shows that in the longer term,
the company could save six million rupies a year, their energy effort and worked out proposals to
mainly in heat consumption, but also in electricity economise,” Kaupp explains.“An efficiency audit Energy consulting
consumption. We recommend that the machines revealed that the respective plants implemented is emerging as
be modernised so that they work more efficiently. an average 70 percent of our proposals, although a new branch of
industry in India.
Organisational processes could be streamlined this did take several years in some cases.”
in order to minimise energy wasting.” Much of this Albrecht Kaupp usually advises large-scale
could be achieved without costly investments, enterprises on how to save energy, where he can
the expert says. What would be ideal is a plant normally reckon with appropriate technical
for the co-production of electricity and process expertise as well as the adequate financial scope
steam. But this would be up to management to for implementation.“Experience has shown that
decide. Plant superintendent Singh welcomes half of the saving effect can be achieved merely
the proposals:“If they pay their way, we will of with improved housekeeping and management,
course introduce these improvements. That goes so that larger investments are not required,” the
without saying.” GTZ expert says. But it is precisely this aspect
that is often more difficult than the procurement
A project with a saving philosophy
of new machinery. Restructuring work routines
GTZ in New Delhi is supporting the efforts the often meets with resistance among the workforce.
laminate factory at Hapur is making. For six years, The prime incentive for an efficient use of energy
the GTZ (German Technical Cooperation) has is the financial savings it entails. Albrecht Kaupp
been commissioned by the German Federal and his team are co-operating with small con-
Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Develop- sulting agencies and are establishing a qualified
ment to support the Indian Energy Ministry’s staff of energy consultants.
measures to save energy.“In the first project S. Ramaswamy, Kaupp’s colleague at the Energy
phase, which covered four-and-a-half years, we Ministry, has been working for the newly estab-
worked together with the Tata Energy Research lished Bureau for Energy Efficiency, an expert
Institute in Bangalore,” says Albrecht Kaupp, the group of the Energy Ministry, since December
GTZ project co-ordinator. The project supports 2001. The Bureau is to work out implementing
30 to 50 large companies a year.“We examined regulations for the new Law on Energy Saving.
Here, the emphasis is mainly on standards technical innovations for saving energy costs.
and norms for energy consumption in certain So a new industrial branch is emerging: energy
branches of industry.“We intend to achieve this consulting.
in close coordination with the companies The international debate on the protection
concerned. And we want to develop a sort of of the climate is certainly going to boost this
eco-label that would inform the consumer about kind of business. In the Kyoto Protocol, the
the energy consumption of mass consumer parties agreed on what is known as the Clean
products such as televisions and refrigerators,” Development Mechanism (CDM).This mechanism
says Ramaswamy. provides for industrialised countries to credit
reductions in levels of pollution they have
Energy consulting as a business sector
achieved to their own account. Albrecht Kaupp
Is efficiency now going to become the new hopes that German Technical Cooperation will
mantra of Indian energy policy? Support cannot succeed in qualifying for this in terms of energy
be reckoned with from all sides, for you can hardly efficiency and environmental protection in
grow if all you do is save. Insiders put the illegal the near future and win points for Germany. For
earnings of large-scale power stations and similar greater energy efficiency means less emission
projects at around 20 percent of the investment of harmful substances.“So we are contributing
costs. These are millions that fill the pockets of to climate protection here. I am sure that CDM is
corrupt politicians and bureaucrats without any going to encourage further efforts and will make
tax being paid. Industrialists have raised objec- India more competitive,” says Kaupp.
tions to a further system of controls that could
impede their business. But there is another trend The author is a freelance journalist who is
as well. India’s largest industrial federation, CII, based in New Delhi.
organised a seminar on energy saving in the
Southern Indian city of Puna in December 2001.
Local firms such as Cummins India and Marshall
Forbes, who are among the country’s leading
mechanical engineering companies, presented
27 akzente special
Clean air in cities
Effective air pollution control is the litmus test of urban
environmental policy. It will be successful if the principles
of integrated air quality management are observed.
In order to prevent emissions on a sustainable basis, GTZ takes
technical, political and social factors into consideration.
To the inhabitants of many cities in the industrialised countries, blue skies go without saying. The fact
that levels of pollutants in urban air are comparatively low in spite of massive industrial activity and
heavy traffic is a result of years of tough struggles to establish air pollution control. But anyone going
to Mexico City, Santiago de Chile, Beijing or Bangkok will suddenly once again experience what it is like
when the sky no longer turns blue.
In many cities in the developing countries, air pollution is an everyday concern. Across the world, 1.4 billion
people are inhaling air with pollution levels above the standards recommended by the World Health
Organization (WHO). Sometimes the concentration of the pollutants is three to four times as high.
Figure 1 shows the situation in a number of megacities for three selected criteria pollutants in comparison
to Paris. The strain on the cardiovascular system, diseases of the respiratory tract and an increased risk
of cancer are shortening life expectancy in the cities. According to WHO estimates, around three million
people die each year owing to the impact air pollution has on health. Air pollution also affects the water
and the soil. It harms ecosystems and damages historic buildings.
The pollutants are created by the combustion of fuels and fossil energy sources. So the transport sector,
manufacturing industry and the energy sector are the biggest air polluters. Using the example of Mexico
City, Figure 2 demonstrates the shares of some particularly harmful pollutants that result in damage to
health and the environment to a considerable degree. The situation is similar in other cities. It is above
all the high levels of emissions from vehicles that cause concern. The numbers of cars are enormously
increasing in the rapidly growing cities. The OECD estimates that the global number of motor vehicles
will be in excess of 1.3 billion by 2020. In most Asian cities, the motorised two and three-wheelers also
make a considerable contribution to air pollution. The dynamic growth of the population, industry and
cities aggravates the problem.
Uncontrolled urban sprawl
A second important factor in air pollution is urban, transport and settlement planning that is either
lacking or misconceived in many cities. Uncontrolled urban sprawl, poor suburban public transport
systems and sticking to the paradigm of the “car-friendly city” make many people dependent on individual
motorisation. Not only does a policy promoting traffic generate growing air pollution levels, it also
increasingly results in traffic jams and puts an excessive strain on an infrastructure that is usually
insufficient anyway. Given an average growth rate of cities – especially in Asia – of up to eight percent
annually, traffic volumes are expected to double every seven years. Prolonged transport planning taking
up to ten years – which is usually the case in the industrialised countries – can hardly be practicable
here anymore. All that can help is an integrated transport, urban and settlement planning approach that
aims at avoiding traffic. However, such concepts have hardly ever been tested so far.
The third key cause of air pollution is the insufficient environmental policy framework of many coun-
tries. Giving consideration to a sustainable environmental and health policy is deliberately postponed to
the advantage of short-term economic growth interests. And often, public awareness is lacking of the
air pollution control problem and solution options and opportunities. In spite of dramatic air pollution
levels in Mexico City and Santiago de Chile, no experience was gathered with air pollution control
until the early 1990s. Even today, important legal foundations are still not in place in many countries.
Equipment, qualifications and the ability to assert positions against the opposition of ministries of
economics and transport are lacking.
Against this background, it is difficult to respond to the problem of air pollution in an appropriate
manner. Nevertheless, more and more countries and cities are finding suitable approaches. International
development cooperation has made a significant contribution to this trend. International platforms such
as the World Bank Clean Air Initiative (CAI), local Agenda 21 processes, the International Council for Local
Environment Initiatives (ICLEI) and several local city networks in various continents are enabling an in-
µg/m3 Alarming values.
PM SO2 NO2 Just under one-and-
a-half billion people are
400 breathing in air with
pollution levels above
350 WHO guideline WHO guideline the limit values
for NO2: 40 µg/m3 for SO2: 50 µg/m3
recommended by the
WHO. Sometimes the
250 concentration of the
pollutants is three to
200 WHO guideline for
four times higher.
150 90 µg/m3 The diagram shows
the situation in a
100 number of megacities
for three selected
pollutants.Paris is shown
0 in comparison.
Beijing Shanghai Paris Calcutta Delhi Mumbai Mexico City Source: The World Bank
29 akzente special
tensive exchange of knowledge and experience between politics, science, associations, civil society and
industry. This paves the way for more effective steps towards an integrated air pollution control
policy combining several aspects.
Four aspects of integrated air quality management
The first task of an integrated air pollution control policy is to gather better information on air quality
and pollution sources. So one key element of air pollution control is to establish a reliable air measuring
and inventory system enabling statements on conditions and forecasts of future developments.
Not only is carefully ascertained information the basis of all decisions on air pollution control, it also
raises their credibility and acceptance by the public.
The second factor of an integrated air pollution control policy is that the most important contributions
to air pollution control first of all have to be effected among the chief emitters. As a rule, simple
and tried-and-tested methods are available for this purpose. In the transport sector, for instance, they
include: lead-free petrol, improved fuel quality, cars fitted with catalytic converters, converting bus
fleets running on diesel to compressed natural gas (CNG), improved emissions standards and technical
inspections for motorised vehicles as well as tax differentials favouring compliance with low emissions
standards. Many countries are already orienting themselves on the emissions standards and procedures
of the European Union and the United States.
Much is being achieved with filtering units in the energy and industrial sector. Ecologically efficient
concepts are very effective as well. Here, so-called end-of-pipe solutions are simply not enough.
Rather, the aim is to prevent emissions by applying an innovative and clever design of production
processes and industrial plant. Our development specialists recommend that easily achievable goals
be tackled first. In this manner, important experience in improving air quality can be gathered and
public acceptance can be raised, which gets the processes going. Gaining speed in this way is important.
For in view of the prolonged problem solutions, technology alone is not going to be enough – especially
if it is getting more and more expensive and increasingly elaborate for any additional reductions.
Moreover, if energy and fuel consumption is reduced on a lasting basis, emissions of both air pollutants
and greenhouse gases will be reduced.Thus air quality management also makes effective contributions
to climate policy.
The third aspect of integrated air pollution control is that of complementing technical means with
urban development. Here, the accent is on maintaining success in air pollution control that can, as a rule,
be easily achieved with technical measures, on a lasting basis. For given the continuing growth of the
100% Major sources of air pollutants in
cities include transport (mobile sources
such as cars, trucks, buses etc.),
80% the energy sector, industry and housing.
In some cities, e.g. Mexico City, volcanic
70% activity contributes significantly to
pollutants such as Particulate Matter
0% point sources
PM10 SO2 CO NOx VOC
cities, industries and traffic flows, there is the threat of a relapse into increasing pollution in the longer
term. Such a threat has to be countered with suitable urban, settlement and transport planning.
The most important target is to reduce traffic flows without restricting people’s mobility wherever possible.
This can only be achieved if people in the cities can switch to other, attractive means of transport in
the long run (public transport, non-motorised transport). Gentle political pressure exerted by fuel and
road taxes can accelerate this modal shift. In addition, it is important to enhance the capabilities and
capacities of environmental administrations.The authorities have to be appropriately staffed and qualified
to plan, co-ordinate, finance and effectively assume overall control of an air pollution control policy.
The key prerequisite for successful air pollution control is a clear political commitment and a medium-
term strategy that sets an obligatory course. National and urban environmental action plans, which have
already been developed and successfully implemented in some countries, are important steps in this
direction (e.g. the Third Air Pollution Control Programme in Mexico City, 2002-2010).
Modern air quality management includes all options to avoid emissions on a lasting basis.
Short-term actionism or purely symbolic measures are not helpful. Nobody wishing to achieve sustained
improvements in the quality of life will manage this without integrated air pollution control. The
integrated philosophy also includes creating environmental awareness among the population and
involving trade and manufacturing industry, the transport industry, NGOs, science, the media and
civil society. Our partner countries have had good experience with support given by GTZ and its
integrated approach. Ultimately, the ability and readiness of the cities to initiate an integrated air pollution
control policy are the litmus tests for an effective environmental policy in developing countries. When
people experience that the sky above their cities really can get blue again, this will release energy for
The author is a member of the GTZ Division for Environment and Infrastructure.
31 akzente special
Twins for better air quality
Old and new EU Member States are unalike twins.
To make them swiftly adapt to each other, twinning projects
are being run in the agricultural and health sectors, in the
judiciary, in industry and in environmental protection.
In the Czech Republic, everything centres on the EU stan-
dards for better air quality.
R einer Strauß travelled to Prague as assistant
head of a government department.
He returned to Munich as an honorary member
polluting the air with its iron foundries and steel-
works. Nowhere in what is now the Czech Repub-
lic was it dirtier than here in Kladno in 1990.
of the Czech Chimneysweep Guild. This distinc- Thanks to the shut-down of many factories and
tion came as a surprise, but it was nevertheless in major industrial plants, the situation has improved
the nature of things. For anyone campaigning considerably since then. Nevertheless, air pollu-
for better air quality will find several allies. tion levels are still high. Reiner Strauß and his
Familiarising all of them with the EU standards for German, Austrian and Czech colleagues had
better air quality was the most important task a closer look at the city. His conclusion is that
that the head of the Department for Air Quality at “an exemplary, simple action plan can be worked
the Bavarian Ministry of the Environment had set out for Kladno“.
himself in the past two-and-a-half years. In the basin-shaped valley the urban district
When it joins the European Union, the Czech of Svermov is located in, the inhabitants are
Republic, one of Germany’s neighbouring troubled by a very fine dust, so-called PM10 dust.
countries, will have to maintain EU air quality The wind whirls it up from the numerous unmet-
standards and observe the limit values. By then, alled secondary roads. The habits of the locals
European regulations will have to be adopted only add to the problem. Instead of using long-
by Czech law. In order for the regulations to apply, distance energy or gas for heating, they prefer to
administrations will have to be in place to im- burn cheap wood and coal.“Around 40 percent
plement them in a competent manner. All this of dust emissions in the Czech Republic originates
is to be accomplished according to schedule with from such sources,” Strauß complains. And he
European support. The instrument it requires is adds:“This is why we suggested a law or official
twinning. regulations requiring that private fireplaces be
The concept of twinning incorporates accession controlled and maintained by chimneysweeps,
partnerships in which experts from ministries, just like in Germany.”
administrations and other institutions of the The EU experts also gave important advice
Member States cooperate to reach precisely on how to measure the pollutants. Although the
defined targets. Twinning projects help the future Czech Republic already installed a modern
EU countries of central and eastern Europe to measuring network with computer-controlled
adapt to forthcoming requirements. “Here, we can measuring stations shortly after the political
contribute valuable experience with air pollution transition, the country does not yet meet the EU’s
control,” says Rainer Strauß. The 160 pages of the latest requirements. The ordinance for the
twinning agreement determine what expertise measurement of PM10 dust has only been in
is required for: to develop administrative structures force for three years. And this measurement is
or to improve the monitoring system for air quality complicated. Because the automatic equipment
standards. Two classic examples demonstrate how frequently overheats, part of the dust evaporates,
air pollution can be reduced effectively. which falsifies the results. Only comparative
measurements with other apparatus can guarantee
An exemplary action plan
consistent findings and ensure that, from 2005
Kladno, with a population of 110,000, was a on, the stringent EU limit values of 40 millionths
suitable initial location for a demonstration. of a gram per cubic metre of air can be observed.
It is Central Bohemia’s largest city, and this is also These are the detailed references that the
where anthracite coal was found for the first Accession Candidates expect from their twinning
time in 1846. Since then, heavy industry has been partners. Germany is the leading advisor. Around
170 twinning projects, which amounts to every and foreign specialists. Countless talks, workshops,
fourth scheme in the programme, have been seminars and local inspections have been sub-
launched by Germany since it was started in 1998. sequently arranged.
Various Federal Ministries have commissioned
The focal point of transit
GTZ to support the projects. The air pollution
control project in the Czech Republic has been Often enough, the twinning contract also
headed by the Federal Ministry for the Environ- ˇ
brought the experts to Litomér ice. In this northern
ment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Bohemian town, too, there is considerable
The GTZ Twinning Office in Berlin also supports demand for an exemplary action plan for air
the Federal Ministry of Finance with the imple- pollution control. The focal point here is the
mentation of the twinning programme as a through road with an extreme volume of transit
whole in Germany. Not only are there twinning traffic. It is a typical hotspot for which the EU
schemes for the environmental sector but for guidelines prescribe regular measurements.
all areas of the acquis communantaire. Advice However, there are hardly any measuring stations
is required wherever European ordinances and ˇ
for dust and nitrogen dioxides in Litomér ice.
regulations have to be complied with: in the This is why the final report of the twinning experts
agricultural and health sectors as well as in the urgently recommends small, transportable stations
judiciary or in industry. Often, the projects form and suggests how car exhaust fume levels can
a continuation of bilateral partnerships with the be reduced in the short and long term: by opera-
countries of eastern Europe that have already ting restrictions for vehicles that do not have low
been in existence since the political transition in pollution levels, sulphur-free fuels or emissions
these regions. One favourable side-effect in test-based road tax.
this context is that the EU is now paying for the The Czech partners see to it that the twinning
projects. results are put on the Internet and environmental
organisations such as the NGO Arnika are invited
to take part in deliberations on new legislation.
“Twinning helps the Member States to forge or In the meantime, the society of the Czech chimney-
extend close links with the future members,” sweeps has also been firmly integrated into
says Bettina Fellmer, who is Team Leader for the the twinning programme. For the time being, it
Environment at the GTZ Twinning Office and is only monitoring small, commercial firing places.
Project Manager for the Air Pollution Control However, Reiner Strauß, the honorary member
Programme in the Czech Republic, which is being of the Czech Chimneysweep Guild, would look
funded with 700,000 euro out of the PHARE forward to seeing his Czech colleagues soon
programme. Twinning can also influence “how having a say in monitoring private household
administrative structures are developed” This is fireplaces as well.
an important aspect for German industry, Bettina
Fellmer stresses. After all, the companies wish The author is a freelance journalist in Munich.
to see well-established European standards in
place in the future eastern Member States.
And Germany’s direct proximity to eastern Europe
is a further reason for its involvement in twinning
schemes in the environmental sector. Bettina
Fellmer points out that “much of the environmental
pollution has a direct impact on Germany” .
Cross-border air pollution is not new. The
sulphurous cat-muck stench that wafted over to
Bavaria from the northern Bohemian brown coal
gasification plant of Vresová in the early eighties
is legendary. Reiner Strauß was already forging
links at the time.“Good partnerships simply
take time to grow,” the qualified meteorologist
comments. Czech colleagues requested his
cooperation personally. In the application
procedure for the project, Germany ultimately
beat its rival Italy and was awarded the contract
to implement the twinning project in collabo-
ration with partners from the Czech Environ-
mental Ministry, the inspectorates, the Hydro-
meteorological Institute and many other local
33 akzente special
Poor air quality
In many urban areas throughout the world,
inhabitants should be reminded, and visitors
welcomed, with warning signs.
Air pollution has reached alarming levels,
often causing severe damage to human health,
and resulting in approimately 3 million premature
deaths annually. Cancer risk increases as air
Poor air quality in urban areas is mainly caused
by combustion of fossil and other fuels, by
Contact: industries, households and vehicles, and by forest
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische fires and dust.
Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
Environment and Infrastructure Division Fast growing cities, inadequate urban planning,
Dag-Hammarskjöld-Weg 1-5 strong preferences for individual motorised
P.O. Box 5180 transport, growing industries applying outdated
65726 Eschborn technology, the use of poor quality fuels or coal,
Germany etc., further cause urban air quality to deteriorate
or by mail to email@example.com. Also visit and pose a severe challenge to urban air quality
our website http://www.gtz.de/transport management.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ ) GmbH
GTZ´s approach to Air Quality Management
(AQM) is based on a comprehensive set of
integrated services. We support our partners by
providing advisory services aimed at:
improving institutional and legal frameworks for
introducing and monitoring emission and fuel
improving vehicle inspection and maintenance
strengthening institutional capacities
improving air quality monitoring and information
promoting the integration of AQM in urban
planning and transport planning
improving social communication, public
awareness and public participation in AQM
promoting international cooperation in AQM
networks and initiatives.
For more than 15 years GTZ has provided advisory
A services for AQM projects in more than 20 countries.
sustainable At present, more than 30 ongoing GTZ projects
cover a wide range of air pollution issues, including:
integrated AQM strategies for megacieties
legal reforms for EU member candidates
environmental action planning
sustainable urban development in eco-cities
cleaner coal and household energy.
The highest quality of advisory services and tech-
nical assistance is constantly guaranted through
a dense network of local and regional GTZ
offices with longstanding experience in more
than 160 countries
a large network of international experts on
all aspects of AQM
close cooperation with other donors, private
sector companies and the consulting industry
constant monitoring and quality management
in all projects.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ ) GmbH