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Carbon map shows Delhi emissions low

delhi Updated: Dec 09, 2009 02:22 IST
Avishek G. Dastidar
Avishek G. Dastidar
Hindustan Times
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Delhi is ready with its carbon map — a sector-wise break-up of direct greenhouse gas emission, a first in India. It shows the Capital’s carbon footprint is barely a third of London’s.

The map, accessed by Hindustan Times, will be taken to Copenhagen next week by state chief secretary Rakesh Mehta and state environment secretary Dharmendra.

The carbon map shows that the four main sectors —transport, domestic, commercial and industry — emit 15.41 million metric tonnes (MMT) of greenhouse gases per year.

London, the first metropolis to carry out such an exercise, emits 44 MMT.

Transport is the biggest contributor (46 per cent) to Delhi’s carbon pool. The domestic sector is second, accounting for 34 per cent of greenhouse gases emitted. Reason: biomass fuel used in slums and unauthorised settlements, LPG and general waste.

“Garbage accumulation and blocked sewage cause a lot of methane gas at unauthorised colonies,” said a government official who didn't want to be named.

The commercial sector accounts for 12 per cent and industry for 8 per cent. The power sector isn’t a major emitter. But the landfills in Ghazipur (east) and Bhalaswa (north) are a huge source of methane.

"The data will help us formulate policies for low-carbon development," said Mehta.

The map also proposes policy initiatives on emission reduction and "carbon budgeting".

It proposes tax benefits for low-carbon lifestyle, refundable tax credit for capital investment in research in clean technologies, an environmental clearance system for commercial buildings and smart power meters for homes, among others.

"This shows Delhi and India are serious about climate change mitigation," said Sunita Narain, member of the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change. "Now we need some action in the transport and industrial sectors to bring down emissions."

Researchers from Delhi University's Centre for Management of Degraded Ecosystems worked under air-pollution expert Dr Chiroshree Ghosh for over a year to come up with the map.

"The brief was to finish it before the Copenhagen talks," the official said.