A new report released in Pune on Thursday aims to set out an action plan to make Pune a carbon neutral city by 2030. “Climate change is global but action begins at the local level. Different areas will be affected differently. As a country, we have a big problem. We live in a tropical area, are dependent on the monsoon and have a large coastline so we will feel a lot of the impact,” said Prof Amitav Mallik, lead author of the ‘Pathway to taking Pune to Carbon Neutrality by 2030’, which released as part of the World Environment Day event organised by Pune International Centre (PIC) on Thursday.
The report was released by Professor (Dr) Nitin Karmalkar, Vice-Chancellor, Savitribai Phule Pune University and Dr Raghunath Mashelkar, President, PIC.
Eminent experts, a project team of PIC and Climate Collective Pune, among others, have worked towards creating this action plan. “The report deals with the different challenges and scopes in various areas regarding carbon neutrality. We tried to put our understanding of working towards carbon neutrality into a coherent and official report,” said Mallik.
He added that reduction in energy demand and low carbon lifestyle were the challenges when it came to achieving carbon reduction. “We are aware that every human activity leaves a carbon footprint, so, if we decide to reduce our carbon footprint at the individual, household and institutional levels, we will make a substantial difference. Everything, from sustainability to preserving our future, depends on our consuming less. Unfortunately, we are going towards a Western culture that is oriented towards consumption rather than saving,” he added.
Pune’s per capita carbon dioxide emission was 1.42 tonnes in 2012 and increased to 1.64 tonnes per person in 2017. “If everybody decides that they will not use diesel generators any more, lots of diesel generators can be phased out as people switch to solar power,” he said. Waste management, planting trees and creating gardens are among the other recommendations of the report.
Mallik added that in a few years, more than 60 per cent of the global population will be living in cities. “They will be responsible for more than 75 per cent of energy consumption and carbon emission. It is, therefore, the cities that must be proactive and Pune must take a leadership role,” he said.