Santiago de Cali - Emerging stocks, solid foundations

Assessment of the territories’ climate action


Association Climate Chance (Climate Chance)

Since 2015, the Climate Chance Association has been involved in the mobilization in the fight against climate change. It is the only international association that proposes to bring together on an equal footing all the non-State actors recognized by the UN. In order to strengthen their action and to give credibility to the climate stabilization scenarios, the Climate Chance Association launched in 2018 a Global Observatory of Non-State Climate Action, which aims to explain the evolution of greenhouse gas emissions, by crossing national public policies, with sectoral dynamics, private actors’ strategies, local public policies, and actions undertaken by the actors of the territory. In 2019, in order to analyse the coherence of local public policies, Climat Chance proposes 13 new case studies of cities and regions. Here, the case of Santiago de Cali, in western Colombia.

To download : climate-chance-2019.pdf (1.5 MiB)

Governance and integration of climate policies

Since 1994, the municipality of Cali has had an Environmental Management System, the founding text that guides its environmental policies. The Administrative Department of Environmental Management (DAGMA), an entity dependent on the municipality, is responsible for the development and implementation of environmental laws and plans in the 22 municipalities of Cali. At the regional level, the Regional Autonomous Society of the Cauca Valley (CVC), created in 1954 and dependent on the Colombian government but autonomous in its management, is in charge of natural resource management. In 2015, DAGMA, CVC and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) defined a Municipal Strategy for Low Carbon Development, whose 73 actions, grouped into five 1 Sectoral Action Plans (SAPs), are to be implemented between 2020 and 2040. Within each SAP, a weighted evaluation of the different measures has been carried out in order to prioritize their implementation. However, the plan does not define any emission reduction targets.

Monitoring and evaluation of the climate policy

For the first time, in 2015, Cali published, together with the Autonomous Regional Society of the Cauca Valley and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, a complete inventory of the city’s GHG emissions and other polluting gases. Cali’s inhabitants emit 2 tons of CO2 per year and per person, its inhabitants emit less than the national average is 3.7 and the Latin American average is 2.1 (DAGMA). Between 2010 and 2015, GHG emissions decreased by 9.13%, from 4.2 to 3.8 million tons (Mt) of CO2 eq. The most significant decrease comes from the industry sector, with - 58.1% GHG emissions in five years. The two sectors with the lowest emissions are residential and industry, which accounted for 11% and 10% respectively in 2015. Transportation remains the main emitter with 51% of emissions in 2015. Cars are the main emitters in this sector (50%), followed by heavy goods vehicles, trucks and buses combined (32%). The other important sector is waste, responsible for 25% of GHG emissions in 2010 and 22% in 2015.

Transition of the economy - A local compensation system to support businesses

Since 2014 the DAGMA and the CVC, have launched the program «  Sello Cali Carbono Neutro Organizacional  » (SCCO), a voluntary programme to reduce the carbon footprint of companies and administrations located in Cali. Between 2017, the municipality assisted 47 companies in setting a target for reducing their emissions and the measures required to achieve it (thermal insulation work, improvements to the heating system, etc.). Companies that fail to meet their targets are encouraged to offset their emissions through several accredited compensation systems. One of these systems «  BanCO2 ", which was established in 2017 by the Regional Society of the Cauca Valley, is a banking platform that allows companies and individuals to offset their carbon footprint. The money collected is paid monthly to farmers and peasants who work to preserve the forests on their land. BanCO2, through its platform, also allows individuals to calculate their carbon footprints and make donations to offset measures. When the project was launched, 18 families living in the Dagua River basin, some 50 km from Cali, received part of these compensations to help them preserve their land.

Transportation - Defining objectives and solutions by reason for displacement

In November 2019, the Municipality of Cali published five sectoral mobility plans targeting different reasons for travel : travel by local civil servants, students, employees of private companies, medical services and urban logistics. The common objectives of each plan are : - 5% of CO2 emissions from their car fleet by 2022, + 5% of public transport use, and finally the holding of working sessions with the latter in order to formulate sectoral mobility strategies. According to the 2015 Household Travel Survey, 32.6% of daily trips in the city of Cali were made on foot, 4.5% by bicycle, 30% by private car and 21.4% by public transport.

At the same time, DAGMA, in partnership with the traffic secretariat and METROCali, has been conducting a policy to combat polluting vehicles since 2015, which applies particularly to buses in the public transport system. Thus, METRO Cali, the public transport operating entity, has stopped some 4,000 buses considered too polluting since 2015, and partially replaced them with 760 vehicles integrating the MIO network of High Service Level Buses.

As part of Cali’s low-carbon development strategy, the Sectoral Action Plan (SAP) dedicated to transport (2018) provides for the replacement of 30% of the bus fleet by electric buses by 2040. The SAP evaluates the CO2 and financial savings according to traffic forecasts (100,000 km/year or 200,000 km/year) and the types of buses considered (size and fuel - electric or gas) estimated at between 10 and 76 MtCO2 by 2040. As of August 2019, 26 electric and 21 gas-powered buses have been put into operation. A total of 266 low-emission buses are expected to be put into service out of the 920 planned to reach 30%.

Buildings - Changing the street lighting system

In the first half of 2018, the municipality of Cali began the change of street lighting in 48 districts of the city. The aim is to switch from a system using sodium bulbs to a LED system. This change, once implemented throughout the city, is expected to result in energy savings of 40 to 50 per cent, or an annual saving of $20,000 million. The street lighting upgrade is expected to take two years to complete in 2020 and will require the replacement of some 160,000 light points. By 2018, 26,346 light points will have been changed. The priority areas for the installation of the new street lighting were those where it would improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and local residents. LED technology was also installed on 909 bus shelters.

Adaptation - No plan, but reforestation programs

DAGMA’s Ecosystem Conservation Group has launched the «  Ave Fenix  » plan to enable the reforestation of the Cerro Cristo Rey and Los Cristales hills. This program follows the fires that destroyed some 103 hectares of vegetation in 2018, and between April and May 2019, 3000 trees were planted thanks to the mobility of nearly 1800 volunteers. The Valle del Cauca government has also launched a reforestation plan in the region, the « greener hills » programme, in collaboration with Cali, since the Cerro Cristo Rey and Cerro de la Bandera are concerned. On 12 October 2019, as part of this programme, more than 2,000 trees were replanted on these three hills covered by the plan. These reforestation plans are also in line with the Municipal Development Plan 2016 - 2019, which provides for the planting of 100,000 trees by the end of December 2019.

1 Habitat and Territorial Development, Transport, Waste Management Water and Sanitation, Agriculture and Industry, Energy, Mining and Hydrocarbons


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