Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had appointed TERI to calculate the city’s carbon footprint. The study has concluded that the carbon footprint per person in Pune is on the higher side as compared to other cities. The report revealed that the city emitted over 46 lakh metric tonnes of the gas in 2010-2011. The per capita carbon release in the city is around 1.46 metric tonnes, which is slightly lower than the national average of around 1.5 metric tonnes. The city’s rapid urbanization, industrialization and traffic have made its carbon footprint much higher than some other Indian cities.
Carbon footprint is the accounting of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, resulting directly or indirectly from human activities such as consumption of fossil fuels, electricity consumption etc.
Electricity consumption is the biggest contributor to carbon emission in Pune followed by fuel. The residential sector emits the most carbon, followed by the transport, commercial and industrial sectors. Pune is, in fact, the first city to carry out a municipal-level carbon footprint study.
The report states that electricity usage contributed 56.38% of the total carbon-dioxide equivalents (CO2e) emissions followed by petroleum products (36.50%). Municipal solid waste and sewage contributed the rest. Electricity distributed through a low-tension distribution network is primarily used in residential and commercial sectors in the city and it was the biggest source of GHG emission. As much as 26.27 lakh tonnes of carbon was released through electricity usage in the city during 2010-11.
Petroleum products, the second biggest contributor, are estimated to have generated 17 lakh tonnes of carbon. Solid waste contributed 4.6% (2.12 lakh tonnes) and sewage 2.3% (1.19 lakh tonnes) of the total CO2e emissions.
India faces the challenge of providing massive infrastructure to its growing population while adopting a low carbon growth, the report points out. The report states that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a threat to all living species. Most studies have attributed the primary reason for climate change and global warming to the increase in GHG/CO2 emissions. Increasing emission levels are leading to an increase in temperatures globally.