Carbon footprint as a policy tool in Indian cities:\ud process, inventory, application
Carbon footprints are increasingly being used as strategic policy tools for climate change mitigation at all levels national, regional, local or product. Cities being the centre stage of consumption and concentrations of populations are key in Climate change mitigation both in terms of reduction policies and adaptation. Many studies have been conducted to create and refine the methodology of conducting Greenhouse Gases (GHG) inventories at the city scale as well as to compare global or regional cities. Whilst the practice of GHG inventorying is rapidly finding place in cities in the developed nations, cities in developing countries haven’t been as proactive. This thesis, takes a case study approach to identifying the opportunities and barriers to using a GHG inventory as a policy tool in a mid size Tier III city(<1 million population) in India. \ud \ud The results show that whilst possible to conduct a GHG inventory within the existing data and governance structure, the success of such a policy and monitoring tool is highly dependent on a conducive governance environ with clear accountability. The five-year study showed rapidly increasing emissions rising from 1.07 Metric Tons per capita in 2007 to 1.43 Metric Tons per capita in 2011. Transport and residential sectors were identified as the key drivers. Yet compared to global benchmarks the emissions are very low, hence, suggesting that the policy target must be set at containing the emissions at low levels rather than reducing. A key finding was a declining annual growth rate for emissions within the city pointing to a positive trend that emissions are not rising at an exponentially growing rate that is sometimes assumed in relation to cities in developing countries. While emissions per capita have increased, emissions per unit GDP have gone down. The recommendations suggest leveraging existing government policies to reform the process and increase awareness.
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