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Case study

Local air pollution management in Kathmandu Valley Nepal

Countries and regions
Nepal, South Asia
Action area


Case summary

Like much of South Asia, Nepal is experiencing rapid urbanization, particularly in the Kathmandu Valley. Rapid urbanization has come with increased demand for motorized travel, rising CO2 emissions, and poor urban air quality, with particulate matter concentrations well above World Health Organization guidelines. Comprehensive low carbon policy packages, like one proposed for the Kathmandu Valley in 2005, can reduce CO2 and particulate matter emissions from the transport sector, with the ancillary benefits of improved health and quality of life for residents, along with economic savings. Highlighted below, and profiled in this case study, are several actions and good practices that support reduced motorized travel demand and improved air quality in the Kathmandu Valley.

  • Shifting to low carbon public transport is an important means to improve air quality.
  • Enforcement of emissions standards that address sulfur content in gasoline and diesel can reduce particulate matter emissions
  • Converting three-wheel transit from gasoline to electric power is a useful strategy to reduce exhaust fumes from vehicles.
  • Reducing population growth combined with promotion of urban density helps reduce urban sprawl and the need for motorized travel.
  • Improving passenger comfort on public transport encourages its use.
Planning and implementation activity
Developing and Implementing Policies and Measures, Sub-national Action and Integration
Institutions involved
Tribhuvan University, South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics, Clean Energy Nepal, Environment and Public Health Organization
Sectors and themes
Transport, Urban, Health
Source details
LEDS Global Partnership

Results supported byUNDPWorld Resources InstituteTransparency partnership