Through the progress of human society, our primary source of energy has been non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels, which have had a tremendous effect on the planet in terms of emissions of greenhouse gases. Aside from energy requirements, our progress has taken a toll on our lands through large scale deforestation of indigenous forests and land degradation. Our agriculture practices have also been modified for large scale production, causing the implementation of unsustainable methods of farming.
Over the last few decades, the impact of our energy needs has slowly seen a reduction with inclusion of renewable energy & low-carbon technologies. Implementation of reforestation projects have helped the natural neutralization of carbon dioxide to mitigate GHG Emissions. Progress in mass-farming techniques which help in a more sustainable method of food production has also seen a significant rise, assisting our efforts to reduce the impact of GHG Emissions.
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Switching to public transport such as buses and metros or even shared-cab services can significantly reduce your GHG emissions. The average GHG emissions released during commute by local bus that has a capacity of around 50 people is 0.015161 kgCO2e/passenger-km, while a typical shared cab carrying 3 passengers emits 0.042 kgCO2e/passenger-km. Cab aggregators in the country have found that since their inception, about 8-9 million kg of carbon dioxide have been prevented. In comparison, a personal car – typically a hatchback – emits 0.126 kgCO2e/km. Commuters who use the metro typically help emission reductions of approx. 100 gm of CO2e for every trip of 10 km.
What do you do if you already have a car?
1. Fuel efficiency is key. Ensure that you regularly give your car for servicing; look after your tyres and clutch plate – each part’s functioning is important for the overall efficiency. This also reduces costs of maintaining a car.
2. Look at carpool options as well; find out people around your area or in your office that travel from or to a similar destination and carpool. There are also apps that let you carpool and earn money.
3. Alternate between your car and public transport, this offsets your emissions.
4. Look for cleaner fuel cars like CNG ones, they emit only 14% of a Petrol or Diesel variant.
5. Re-think your travel, especially if it is for a short distance. If it’s for work, can you manage with a conference call? If it’s inevitable, offset it.
6. When possible, walk to your destination, especially if it is within a 2km radius.
India GHG Program – India Specific Road Transport Emission Factors