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Business News/ News / India/  Mumbai aims carbon neutrality by 2050

NEW DELHI : In a major move towards achieving India's commitment of carbon neutrality by 2070, the country's financial capital Mumbai is eyeing to achieve net-zero carbon emission by 2050, according to its first ever Climate Action Plan unvieled on Sunday.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has devised the Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP) as a part of its commitment towards building a climate-resilient city. This comes in the backdrop of India’s commitment of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by2070. 

After a vulnerability assessment, greenhouse gas (GHG) and natural green cover inventory over the last six months, the BMC with technical support from the World Resources Institute (WRI) India and the C40 Cities network, on Sunday unveiled MCAP. MCAP is a policy document to adopt an evidence-based planning approach and mobilize resources to move from action planning to strategic projects. The action plan 2022 is titled 'Towards a Climate Resilient Mumbai'. 

“While India is on pace to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions, Maharashtra is committed to leading India's battle against the impending climate crisis through policy-governance changes and instilling the culture of climate action. The MCAP is designed to fulfil the Paris Agreement's aim of reducing global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Mumbai will become a climate-resilient metropolis as a result of the evidence-based policies that led to the creation of MCAP," said Mahrashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray in a statement. 

This comes in the backdrop of Maharashtra considering a radical plan to deregister vehicles that run on petrol and diesel, followed by a complete ban from 2030 as reported by Mint earlier. 

“Various recent extreme weather disasters in Maharashtra, such as Cyclone Tauktae, urban floods, and untimely rains, have demonstrated the importance of implementing localised mitigation and resilience techniques. Our goal is to urge people to take action on climate change at the local level. In a city like Mumbai, achieving climate resilience requires striking the ideal balance between development aspirations and environmental preservation," said Mahrashtra' cabinet minister of Environment and Climate Change Aaditya Thackeray said in the statement.

Maharashtra has recorded a sevenfold increase in drought events and a sixfold rise in the frequency of extreme floods events over the last 50 years. The state’s ambitious plan will help reduce India’s total projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes by 2030 and reduce the carbon intensity of the economy to less than 45% by the end of the decade as promised at COP26.

The pathways scenario exercise under MCAP helps establish an evidence, based on which the city can set emissions reduction targets for energy, transport, and waste sectors, which are the major contributors to GHG emissions in the city. While the energy sector accounts for 72% of total emissions, the transport and waste sector are responsible for 20% and 8% respectively. 

The MCAP interim and long-term objectives include a 30% decrease in emissions by 2030, a 44% reduction by 2040, and a net-zero reduction by 2050 compared to base year emissions of 2019. For 2019, the base year emissions were calculated to be 23.42 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e), or 1.8 tonnes CO2e per person. 

The much-anticipated action plan is aligned with the Mumbai Development Plan (DP) 2034, and several sector-specific plans and policies to leverage existing institutional capital to reinforce Mumbai’s climate goals. 

MCAP focuses on six sectors in order to provide sector-specific mitigation and adaptation strategies. The MCAP puts emphasis on decarbonizing Mumbai's energy grid and building energy-efficient and climate-resilient infrastructure under the building energy efficiency theme and promoting low carbon mobility solutions under the sustainable mobility theme, with a strong focus on non-motorized transport infrastructure and zero-emission fuels. 

The action plan tries to implement a zero-landfill waste management plan under sustainable waste management. Similarly, the urban greening and biodiversity theme will focus on increasing resilience by reducing water-sanitation inequity and adopting nature-based solutions for water conservation and flood risk management, while the urban flooding and water resource management theme will focus on increasing resilience by reducing heat risk and increasing the city's resilience to flooding events. 

It envisions reducing air pollution by improving monitoring, enacting effective regulations, and switching to cleaner technologies. 

 “There is a 30% gap of ‘residual emissions’, two-thirds of this is dependent on a speedy transition of cooking fuels to electric in all buildings, scientific treatment of wastewater, and protecting and leveraging the carbon sink potential of our natural ecosystems – mangroves, mud-flats, dense groves of trees, urban forests and our water bodies, While natural ecosystems perform the important function of carbon removal, they also buffer the city from extreme climate risks," said Lubaina Rangwala, the program head of the urban-development-and-resilience team at WRI India said in the statement.

 “The MCAP has set targets that are ambitious, yet inclusive and achievable, acknowledging that 50% of our city lives in informal housing, where a just transition to clean, green, and healthy living conditions will require big investments, strategic partnerships, and continuous participation with community members," she added. 

In November last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a commitment at the COP-26 Summit at Glasgow that India would achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2070.

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Swati Luthra
Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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Updated: 14 Mar 2022, 01:02 AM IST
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