The Urban Climate Change Research Network’s Second Assessment Report on Climate Change in Cities (ARC3.2) is the second in a series of global, science-based reports to examine climate risk, adaptation, and mitigation efforts in cities. The book explicitly seeks to explore the implications of changing climatic conditions on critical urban physical and social infrastructure sectors and intersectoral concerns. The primary purpose of ARC3.2 is to inform the development and implementation of effective urban climate change policies, leveraging ongoing and planned investments for populations in cities of developing, emerging, and developed countries. This volume will be invaluable for a range of audiences involved with climate change and cities: mayors, city officials and policymakers; urban planners; policymakers charged with developing climate change mitigation and adaptation programs; and a broad spectrum of researchers and advanced students in the environmental sciences.

Creating Low Carbon Cities SpringerThis book addresses key topics in the current deliberations and debates on low carbon cities that are underway globally. Contributions by experts from around the world focus on the key factors required for creating low carbon cities. These include appropriate infrastructure, ensuring co-benefits of climate actions, making best use of knowledge and information, proper accounting of emissions, and social factors such as behavioral change. Readers will gain a better understanding of these drivers and explore potential transformation pathways for cities. Particular emphasis is given to the current situation of energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the urban level, stressing the complexity of measuring GHG emissions from cities. Chapters also shed new light on the long-term transformation pathways towards low carbon. This book discusses key challenges and opportunities in all these domains to aid in creating low carbon cities, making it of value to policy makers, researchers in academia and consultants working on climate change and energy issues. Free Access here-

  • Rosenzweig C., W. Solecki, P. Romero-Lankao, S. Mehrotra, S. Dhakal, T. Bowman, and S. Ali Ibrahim (2015). ARC3.2 Summary for City Leaders. Urban Climate Change Research Network. Columbia University. New York.


Without the effective participation of developing Asia, a climate crisis is certain. Within developing Asia, the key to averting such a crisis lies in low carbon transport. China, India and Asia’s other emerging economies could promote fuel efficient vehicles, public transport, and sustainable urban planning. Or they could become locked into inefficient vehicles, energy intensive infrastructure, and suburban sprawl. The path they choose will have long-term implications for the entire world. And it will depend upon the extent to which they adopt a co-benefit approach.

A co-benefit approach involves recognizing that some transport policies mitigate greenhouse gases while simultaneously improving urban air quality, commuting times and energy security. Accounting for these additional benefits can overcome a reluctance to bear the costs of climate actions. But it also presents unique technical, financial, and institutional challenges to decision-makers unaccustomed to optimizing multiple benefits. The book represents a pioneering effort to identify and remove barriers to a co-benefit approach in developing Asia’s transport sector.

  • Shobhakar Dhakal, Urban Transportation and the Environment in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal: Integrating Global Carbon Concerns into Local Air Pollution Management (2006). Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Hayama, Japan (Download from here)

START IGES Kathmandu Book

The results of this study indicate that Kathmandu Valley’s motorized travel demand increased 8.7 fold in 2004 from nearly one billion passenger-km in 1989. It suggests that the demand will increase to 27 billion passenger-km by 2025. Despite the drastic increase, the modal share of public and private transport modes have changed little since 1989: public transport still meets a little over 50 percent of the demand for motorized travel. As a result, the number of vehicles operating in the Valley will triple, expanded from the 170,000 currently operating to about half a million by 2025.The study developed an inventorty of priority air pollutants, energy use and CO2 emission associated with passenger transportation in the Kathmandu Valley for the past and projected these values into the future with the help of a bottom-up, dynamic accounting model and a scenario approach.

  • Shobhakar Dhakal, Urban Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Asian Mega-Cities: Policies for a Sustainable Future (2005), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Hayama, Japan (Download from here). IGES Book

Cities in rapidly industrialising regions of Asia are confronted with multiple tasks for economic development and environmental protection. They tend to give priorities to immediate and local issues, and consider global warming as a far-away issue. The nature of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from cities is not well understood in Asia. In fact, municipal policies to reduce energy consumption bring multiple benefits to the community. It helps to solve air pollution and traffic congestion, and also facilitates the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Energy management at city level was neither a priority nor an important issue until recently because energy related decisions are made at the national level. These days, city policy makers are under growing pressure to incorporate greenhouse gases, especially CO2 emissions into consideration while planning. But any policy measure solely for CO2 reduction is a distant possibility for cities in Asia, with the exception of selected and relatively developed cities. Integrating energy consideration into policies, either by integrating energy concerns to overall urban development or by synergising measures to reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions, is important. Therefore, efforts should be directed towards providing support to cities in generating knowledge and in building their capacity to understand the problem and to find possible measures for implementing policies. The prerequisite for systematic action is the analysis of CO2 emission budgets of cities, their drivers and associated policy analyses.

In this context, Urban Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Asian Mega-Cities: Policies for a Sustainable Future aims to quantify CO2 emissions from energy use and analyse their driving factors for selected Asian Mega-Cities-Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai. It presents discussions on the nature of future challenges. Further, it highlights the needs for taking into account the overall energy and CO2 “footprint” of cities. Finally, it presents policy directions, policy challenges and identifies major opportunities and barriers for integrating CO2 considerations into local environmental policies.

  • Liese Coulter, Pep Canadell and Shobhakar Dhakal. 2008. Carbon Reductions and Offsets, GCP Report No.6, Canberra: Global Carbon Project, Canberra Australia, Tsukuba Japan. (Download from here) GCP

This report explores the issues surrounding voluntary reductions in carbon emissions through efficiencies and emission avoidance and the selection of appropriate carbon offsets where needed. We develop a framework for decision making that focuses on the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) and its programs and projects, where travel, conferences and office support are the major emission causing activities. However, the findings apply to most international projects and research institutions conducting a variety of field, laboratory and administrative activities with significant carbon footprints. The primary concerns are the scope and boundaries of the emissions accounted for in a footprint, both directly and indirectly, the efforts that will be needed to reduce these emissions, and the quality of offsets applied to render the remainder carbon neutral. An effort has been made to identify the extent of efficiencies which can be implemented and clarify the essential characteristics of verifiable and effective offsets available for purchase.

Book Chapters

  1. Rosenzweig, C., W. Solecki, P. Romero-Lankao, S. Mehrotra, S. Dhakal, and S. Ali Ibrahim (2017). Pathways to urban transformation. In: Climate Change and Cities: Second Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (C. Rosenzweig, W. Solecki, P. Romero-Lankao, S. Mehrotra, S. Dhakal, and S. Ali Ibrahim (eds.)). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA.
  2. Dhakal S., and A. Shrestha (2017). Water-Energy-Carbon Nexus in Cities, In Low Carbon Cities (Ed. Shobhakar Dhakal and Matthias Ruth), Springer, UK.
  3. Dhakal S. and A. Shrestha (2016). Bangkok, In Cities on a Finite Planet- Towards transformative responses to climate change (Ed. Sheridan Bartlett, David Satterthwaite), Routledge, London and New York. (
  4. Xuemei Bai, Shobhakar Dhakal, Julia Steinberger, and Helga Weisz (2012). Drivers of urban energy use and main policy leverages. Energizing Sustainable Cities: Assessing Urban Energy (Ed. Arnulf Grubler and David Fisk), Routleg, London and New York, 2012.
  5. Shobhakar Dhakal (2012). Urban air quality management. Energizing Sustainable Cities: Assessing Urban Energy (Ed. Arnulf Grubler and David Fisk), Routleg, London and New York, 2012.
  6. Eric Zusman, Ancha Srinivasan, and Shobhakar Dhakal (2011). Low Carbon Transport and co-benefits in Asia: An Overview. In Low Carbon Transport in Asia: Strategies for Optimizing Co-benefits (Ed. Eric Zusman, Ancha Srinivasan, and Shobhakar Dhakal). London and New York: Routleg. pp 3-18.
  7. Eric Zusman, Ancha Srinivasan, and Shobhakar Dhakal (2011). Low Carbon Transport and co-benefits in Asia: the way forward. In Low Carbon Transport in Asia: Strategies for Optimizing Co-benefits (Ed. Eric Zusman, Ancha Srinivasan, and Shobhakar Dhakal). London and New York: Routleg. pp 244-259.
  8. Kennedy, Christopher, Anu Ramaswami, Sebastian Carney and Shobhakar Dhakal. 2011. Greenhouse Gas Emission Baselines for Global Cities and Metropolitan Regions, Cities and Climate Change: Responding to an Urgent Agenda, Daniel Hoornweg, Mila Freire, Marcus J. Lee, Perinaz Bhada-Tata, and Belinda Yuen, Eds., The World Bank, Washington DC, USA, 15-54.
  9. Hammer, S. A., J. Keirstead, S. Dhakal, J. Mitchell, M. Colley, R. Connell, R. Gonzalez, M. Herve-Mignucci, L. Parshall, N. Schulz, M. Hyams, (2011): Climate change and urban energy systems. Climate Change and Cities: First Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network, C. Rosenzweig, W. D. Solecki, S. A. Hammer, S. Mehrotra, Eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 83–109.
  10. Dhakal, Shobhakar (2010). Urban energy transitions in Chinese cities. In Cities and Low Carbon Transition (ed. Harriet Bulkeley, Vanesa Castán Broto, Mike Hodson and Simon Marvin), London: Routledge.
  11. Joyashree Roy, Chhonda Bose, Ranjan Bose, Sarmistha Das, Shobhakar Dhakal, Mitali Dasgupta, Rucha Ghate, Saikat Sinha Roy, Manaswita Konar, Anoja Wickramasinghe, Moumita Roy and Chetana Chaudhuri (2010). Development Pathways. In Global Environmental Changes in South Asia: A Regional Perspective (ed A.P Mitra and C. Sharma). Capital Publishing Company, New Delhi  Kolkata.
  12. Shobhakar Dhakal (2008). Climate Change and Cities: The Making of a Climate Friendly Future, Urban Energy Transition (ed. Peter Droege), Oxford: Elsevier.
  13. Shobhakar Dhakal. 2005. De-coupling of Urban Mobility Need from Environmental Degradation in Singapore. Urban Infrastructure – An Introduction (ed Y. Chandra Sekhar), Hyderabad: ICFAI University Press, pp 198-226.
  14. Shobhakar Dhakal. 2003. The Urban Heat Environment and Urban Sustainability. Future Cities: Dynamics and Sustainability (Ed. Fred Moavenzadeh, Keisuke Hanaki and Peter Baccini), pp 149-172, Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  15. Dhakal, Shobhakar; G. Norman (2003). Transitions in Urban Energy and Environment: Perspectives from the South-Asia. Proceedings of South Asian Regional Conference on Transition towards Sustainable Development. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), 2003 Delhi.