As Mumbai is one of the high-risk cities with the most severe impacts of climate change, Aaditya Thackeray, Cabinet Minister of Environment, Tourism and Protocol, today launched the first climate action plan specifically for the city. The plan aims to ensure better future planning and development of the city, while aligning with climate adaptation, mitigation and restoration.
- The transportation sector accounts for 24% of total greenhouse gas emissions
- The website is launched to obtain the opinions of experts and citizens on the plan
- The plan will focus on six action tracks
Mumbai’s highest-emitting transportation and energy sector
Currently, Mumbai’s total carbon emissions are 34.3 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent. This is based on the analysis of emissions data collected from the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MCGM), state agencies and private companies from 2010 to 2020 in the transportation, waste, energy and other sectors.
According to further estimates, each person in Mumbai currently contributes 2.67 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (based on 2019 estimates). Similarly, the approximate average contribution per person in India is estimated to be 1.91 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
The results show that the energy sector has the highest emissions, accounting for 71% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The transportation sector accounts for 24% and the solid waste sector accounts for 5%. Lubaina Rangwala, deputy director of the World Resources Institute’s Centre for Sustainable Cities in Ross, India, said: “Due to the high domestic electricity use, 95% of Mumbai’s electricity is based on coal, and the energy sector is the sector with the largest emissions.”
At the same time, the transportation sector has taken measures to reduce its contribution to emissions. In July 2021, Maharashtra announced a New electric vehicle (EV) policy, Encourage the purchase of these alternative fuel vehicles. On August 17, the city received its first public electric vehicle charging station in the Kohinoor Plaza building in the MCGM parking lot in Dadar. In addition, the policy is expected to install 1,500 charging stations in the Mumbai area. By 2025, the state hopes that 10% of all vehicles registered in the state will be electric vehicles.
In addition, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has confirmed that it will only purchase or lease electric buses from now on. By the end of 2022, BEST expects that 45% of its fleet will be electric. In order to reduce air pollution, BEST also plans to convert all of its 250 diesel buses to compressed natural gas (CNG).
Mumbai Climate Action Plan: Details
As part of the C40 city network that Mumbai joined in December 2020, the city is encouraged to draft its climate action plan by the end of 2021 and comply with C40 guidelines and ambitious standards. With the technical support of the knowledge partner World Resources Institute of India, the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation is developing a climate action plan.
Thackeray also launched the Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP) website to solicit the advice and opinions of the city’s experts and citizens. Citizens will be able to submit their proposals by September 20, 2021. The process of finalizing the course of action under MCAP is expected to be completed and ready before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in 2021 in November 2021.
Aaditya Thackeray said at the event that now is the time to take action because any further delays will make Mumbai uninhabitable for the next ten years. “Mainstreaming climate action while implementing the Mumbai development plan can protect the city’s natural system, increase the resilience of vulnerable groups, and achieve resilient urban growth, ensuring that the city’s greenhouse gas emissions are actively reduced,” he said.
According to Thackeray, the main goal of the plan is to develop a comprehensive strategy to respond to the climate change challenge in Mumbai by adopting an inclusive mitigation and adaptation strategy.
The six action tracks of the Climate Action Plan
The plan will focus on six action tracks to introduce sector-specific strategies for mitigation and adaptation that can lead to implementable climate projects that contribute to urban resilience. The six thematic action areas are sustainable waste management, urban greening and biodiversity, urban flood and water management, building energy efficiency, air quality, and sustainable transportation.
Municipal Commissioner IS Chahal said, “In the current climate change scenario, it is necessary to change our view of development. Coordinated efforts in data monitoring and management will help us make quick and informed decisions to ensure that the most vulnerable groups in our cities Safety-Mumbai did exactly that during the pandemic.”