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Mumbai – the first South Asian city to announce a roadmap to reduce carbon emissions to zero

The announced plan is two decades ahead of India’s national target, and Mumbai is the first city in South Asia to set such a timeline.

In the plan announced on March 13, Mumbai, India’s financial hub, proposes measures to radically change the way energy, water, air, waste and space are managed. green and transportation for the city’s 19 million residents.

“We don’t have much time left,” said Aaditya Thackeray, Maharashtra’s environment minister. If no intervention measures are taken, the impact from Climate Change could cost India $35 trillion over the next 50 years.

Despite being India’s wealthiest city, Mumbai is witness to extreme poverty, with slums and fishing villages mushrooming along the southern coast.

By 2050, rising sea levels will submerge those areas. In total, climate change could cost this city $920 million.

Based on comments from officials, citizens, researchers and businesses, the plan reduce carbon emissions of Mumbai listed changes across six areas.

Changes include investments in housing, electrification of public transport, and construction of more pedestrian crossings; drainage against waterlogging; water conservation; invest in clean water and rooftop solar panels.

According to the plan, the largest investment will focus on energy, which accounts for 72% of total emissions. The rest is emissions and waste from vehicles.

Mumbai - the first South Asian city to announce a roadmap to reduce carbon emissions to zero - Photo 1.

Along with branches of South Asia’s largest corporations, Mumbai is also home to terrible poverty. (Photo: Reuters)

Government adviser Saurabh Punamiya said Mumbai could consider raising capital through “green” bonds issued by the federal government. The city also plans to raise funds for climate mitigation projects through the federal government and global lenders.

Access to these investments coupled with a $6 billion annual budget has given Mumbai an edge over other cities in meeting climate goals.

Associate Professor Nikhil Anand, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania (USA), said that Mumbai’s plan could help India rethink current development models when it comes to putting economic growth before environmental management.

If Mumbai succeeds, it could help India shift focus to other pressing issues, such as dramatically increasing access to clean water for the city’s homeless.

Over the next three decades, the city of Mumbai aims to cut its total greenhouse gas emissions to zero. In 2019, the city emitted 23.42 million tons of carbon, or 1.8 million tons of carbon. tons per capita.

Mumbai’s short-term priorities include the purchase of 2,100 electric buses by 2023 at a cost of $1.7 billion. The city also equips low-income households with energy-saving appliances.

However, the plan of some key aspects of Mumbai’s transition remains unclear. Many companies that provide coal power to the city of Mumbai say they will invest to achieve zero transition targets.

Other South Asian megacities such as New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Dhaka and Karachi are also preparing their own plans for action against climate change.

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