This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard India Country Manager Pooran Chandra Pandey
Delhi, officially the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a city and a union territory of India containing New Delhi, the capital of India. Delhi’s urban area is now considered to extend beyond the NCT boundaries, and also include neighbouring satellite cities of Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon, and Noida with an estimated 2016 population of over 26 million people, making it the world’s second-largest urban area according to the UN Report on Cities (https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/urbanization/the_worlds_cities_in_2016_data_booklet.pdf).
Delhi ranks fifth among the Indian states and union territories on the human development index (HDI) and has the second-highest gross domestic product (GDP) in India. The city is of great historical significance as an important commercial, transport, and cultural hub, as well as the political centre of India.
The Indian government has identified Delhi it as one of best practice climate resilient cities in the country. The city seeks to achieve net zero emissions by 2030 and has put in place the following three flagship policies and programs:
Ambitious Electric (Mass Transport) Vehicle Policy
Delhi’s ambitious electric vehicle policy proposes to reduce carbon emissions by 5 million tonnes by 2024, with a further reduction by 15 million tonnes by 2030, through planning, programs, awareness, and capacity building measures.
Efforts are afoot to reduce the increasing pollution levels in the national capital. The Delhi government’s plan to improve public transit is expected to lead to a reduction in harmful particles such as PM10 and PM2.5, which cause air pollution, and could be reduced by up to 5 million tonnes.
Delhi’s public transport system and electric vehicle policy could prove to be a significant step in this direction. The Electric Vehicle policy focuses on electric vehicles representing 25 percent of all vehicles by 2024. The clarity about the necessary measures to be taken for the transformation of electric vehicles has enabled the Delhi government to take concrete decisions.
At the same time, to make the public transport system more effective, the Delhi government is adding 1,000 low floor AC buses to the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus fleet. The new fleet of buses would also be used to reduce traffic jams and air pollution in the city.
DTC bus fleet ferries some 5 million people every day by deploying about 7000 buses, versus the required strength of 11000 buses to keep the growing demand for bus services currently. These buses running on fossil fuel contribute roughly about 25 percent of the city’s total carbon emissions and it is estimated that when replaced by passenger EV buses, there could be on an average carbon emissions cut of 25 tonnes for every fossil fuel bus replaced on a yearly basis (https://scroll.in/article/805457/electric-buses-earn-82-more-profit-than-diesel-daily). Moreover, DTC plans to install real time monitoring panels to record carbon emissions at their 38 stations and later report on these to the designated authorities for improving the performance of the fleets.
In the last two years, 1,681 new buses have been added to the bus fleet in Delhi. These buses are equipped with BS-6 standard compliance, air-conditioned buses with real-time passenger information system, CCTVs, panic buttons, GPS, and other facilities.
A ‘net zero emissions’ Status for City’s International Airport:
Delhi has a ‘net zero emissions’ airport, the first in Asia Pacific region as of November 2020.With this achievement, the government has set up a new benchmark in the aviation industry on climate change mitigation. (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/travel/travel-news/delhi-airport-becomes-asia-pacifics-first-carbon-accredited-airport/as79365507.cms)
Airport policies and programs such as renewable energy use (both onsite and offsite), development of green airport infrastructures, energy conservation, efficiency improvements, stakeholder partnership programs, etc. are being implemented. Other energy efficient and environment friendly infrastructures at the airport include electric vehicle charging facility, state of the art Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) and Water Treatment Plant (WTP), energy efficient lighting systems, advanced fuel hydrant systems, Bridge Mounted Equipment (BME), such as Fixed Electric Ground Power Units (FEGP), and Preconditioned Air (PCA) supply systems. In addition, efforts including technological advancement such as adoption of Electric vehicles and Taxibots. Taxibots (a semi-robotic vehicle, and is used as a means of taxiing the plane to the runway) at Delhi Airport were adopted in 2019 for commercial operations and is the first airport in the world to take up this initiative. Adoption of Taxibot has also resulted in reduction of significant amount of aviation turbine fuel consumption by aircrafts for ground movement.
Switching Polluting Industries to Piped Natural Gas (PNG):
As a long term approach to curbing carbon emissions in the city, Delhi has prepared a policy blue print in helping polluting industries switch to PNG through a combination of incentive and punitive measures. According to the government’s pollution agency, air pollution in the city is caused by dust from construction site and polluting industries on city’s territories.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change stated that about 1,644 of industrial units spread across 50 industrial areas have been encouraged to switch over to PNG. Though a sizable number of industries are using PNG, the Commission stressed the need to switch over to PNG by all identified industries in Delhi by January 31, 2021.
DPCC (https://cpcb.nic.in/uploads/Directions_PNG_14-12-2020.pdf) is tasked with inspection and identification of the industries using unapproved fuels and to take stringent penal action in case of non-compliance.
Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi, Telephone: +91-11-23793791/2, Email: email@example.com
Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, New Delhi, Telephone: +91-23384340, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Nitin Gadgari, Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, New Delhi. Telephone: +91-11-23062019, Email: email@example.com
Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister, Government of Delhi, New Delhi. Telephone: +91-11-23392020/23392030, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org