Environment status report: Pune’s carbon footprint per person high due to large number of private vehicles
Pune’s carbon footprint, per person, has increased by .22 over a fiver-year period.
According to the Environment status report (ESR) for 2017-18, released by the Pune municipal corporation (PMC) on Wednesday, the ratio of carbon dioxide equivalent to population was 1.42 tonnes per person in 2012 and 1.64 tonnes CO2e per person in 2017.
Mangesh Dighe, PMC environment officer, said, “Carbon emissions contribute to climate change, which can have serious consequences for humans and their environment. “
Dighe added, “In 2012, PMC, with the help of The Energy and Resources institute (Teri) calculate the carbon foot print in the city and found that per person emission of CO2e in the city is 1.46 tonnes. With the help of the International council for local environmental initiatives, we did a carbon inventory in Pune for 2017 and found that CO2e emission in the city is now 1.64 tonnes per person, which is alarming.”
Carbon dioxide equivalent or ‘CO2e’ is a term for describing different greenhouse gases in a common unit. For any quantity and type of greenhouse gas, CO2e signifies the amount of CO2 which would have the equivalent global warming impact, Dighe explained.
Dighe said that to stop all these types of pollution, the city needs to concentrate on promoting public transport and bringing down use of private vehicles in the city. PMC is already promoting CNG operated buses, CNG autorickshwas and public sharing of bicycles.
Sujit Pathwardhan, environment activist, said, “For the last many years the ESR has been raising concerns about the vehicle population in Pune. Ideally, while preparing the budget, the PMC should give priority to these issues, but PMC is more interested in erecting flyovers and road widening, which increases vehicle numbers.”
The ESR showed minimum and maximum temperatures recorded in the city also having reached lower and higher than earlier readings.
Even the ratio of carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone (O3) pollutants is high in Pune, as per the ESR, when compared to that prescribed by the Central pollution control board.