Every year, an average Mumbaiite emits 3.83 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to emissions from a small petrol car making 76 round trips between Mumbai and Pune (a distance of 165km).
Mumbai’s carbon footprint is double the national average of 1.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
This is one of the findings from data compiled by Dadar-based non-government organisation Environmental Management Centre (EMC), after calculating the personal carbon footprint of 503 people across India.
The carbon footprint for a Mumbaiite was concentrated in the range of 0.51 to 7 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
Last year, EMC launched a web-based personal carbon footprint calculator www.emccentre.com/knowCO2now for Mumbaiites to calculate their individual carbon emissions and work on a low carbon lifestyle. The calculator is customised for Mumbai with questions on transport, energy usage and waste disposal methods, since those developed in western countries cannot be blindly adapted.
The analysis found that higher income groups have a higher carbon consumption lifestyle as compared to those from lower income groups. “The wealthy need to understand climate change because they are the ones who own two to three cars and use air-conditioners; all of which are high carbon dioxide emitters. Cutting down on electricity bills and car fuel will also mean monetary gain for the individual,” said Prasad Modak, founder and executive president, EMC.
The carbon footprint value was high – at 4 to 5 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year – among 79% users falling between the ages of 20 to 60 years.
Stating that cities such as London and Toronto have chalked out plans for reducing carbon footprints, Modak added, “Mumbai too needs to set a target and encourage the youth to get involved in campaigns advocating living a low carbon lifestyle. Climate change should not be seen only as a global issue.”