The Wuppertal Institute quantified CO2-emission reduction potentials resulting from thematic projects to be realised in the context of the development of a cultural landscape network in the wider agglomeration of Cologne-Bonn.
"Regionale 2010" is a structural programme of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Within this programme, the administrative districts of the region of Cologne-Bonn develop a cultural landscape network. The programme puts a focus on the objective of networking and valorisation of open land areas, particularly in the Cologne/Bonn region. It does so by anticipatory preservation and upgrading of the remaining open land as a leisure area for the people of the Cologne-Bonn region. The work will be finalised by 2010. The aim is to realise a regional network, which encompasses the existing green and open land structures, while emphasizing the differences and unique qualities of the individual parcels. This will open up the existing potentials for tourist and leisure purposes and interconnect the existing characteristic landscapes of the region.
Significant reduction potentials exist in the transport sector. Here emission could be reduced by avoiding long-distance leisure trips and by modal shifts in local leisure traffic. Furthermore, atmospheric CO2-concentration can be reduced by land use changes and afforestation measures. Finally, the development of an interconnected system of green corridors within a metropolitan area can contribute to local adaptation to climate change.
With respect to regional leisure traffic, private car use is the major source of carbon emissions. Cars account for almost 90 per cent of the CO2-emissions of leisure traffic in the region. Therefore, even a small shift to public transport and non-motorised transport or a small reduction of kilometres travelled can lead to considerable CO2-reductions. The CO2-reduction potential of leisure traffic was estimated at around 22,500 tonnes annually.
According to the calculations basing on the new regional centres of attraction the distances covered by car could be reduced by 157 million kilometres annually. This is equivalent to approximately 1.8 per cent of the total CO2-emissions deriving from the regional leisure traffic.
The valorisation of the regional green belt through land use changes and afforestation measures will also reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. First, the project implementation will avoid conversion of open space for urban use and therefore prevent additional emissions. Second, afforestation will lead to atmospheric carbon sequestration in the order of 4,300 tonnes of CO2 annually.