Mumbai has become the first city in South Asia to set a timeline and announce detailed plans to zero out carbon emissions by 2050, a target that puts it two decades ahead of India’s national goal.
India’s national goal to reach net zero emissions is by 2070.
The plans were announced on March 13 where India’s financial center, home to South Asia’s biggest corporations, stock bourses and the central bank, has proposed exhaustive changes to the way it manages energy, water, air, waste, green spaces and transport for its 19 million residents.
“We don’t have the luxury of time,” said Aaditya Thackeray, environment minister of Maharashtra.
As per a report by The Print, without intervention, the effects of climate change could cost India $35 trillion over the next 50 years.
India’s richest city, Mumbai is also home to tremendous poverty, with slums and fishing villages along the southern coast. By 2050, rising sea levels are expected to flood those parts of the city.
In total, unabated climate change could cost the city $920 million.
Drawing on inputs from officials, citizens, researchers and companies, Mumbai’s plan lists changes across six domains.
This includes investments in housing, electrifying public transport and more walkable roads; flood-resistant drainage and water conservation apart from adding open spaces, investing in clean water and sanitation, and rooftop solar capacities.
As per a report by the Business Standard, Mumbai may consider raising funds through green bonds announced by the federal government, said Saurabh Punamiya, government adviser.
“The policies are actually opening the doors for such investments to come in,” Thackeray added.
According to a report by The Hindustan Times, Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP), released by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday, concluded that Mumbai’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are expected to reach 64.8 million tonnes CO2e/year by 2050, increasing 2.7 times between 2019 and 2050.
Causes of pollution
The Transportation sector is responsible for 4.56 million tonnes CO2 or 20 percent of the city’s total emission; and the Waste sector for 1.94 million tonnes CO2 – eight percent of Mumbai’s total emissions.
“To pursue development that secures climate justice in the near future is a non-negotiable,” said Nikhil Anand, who teaches anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, according to the report by The Print.
“The Climate Action Plan needs to take care of stabilising those systems, if it wants to make a meaningful difference in the life of its citizens,” Anand added.
(Banner image courtesy: https://commons.wikimedia.org/)