LED street lighting, solar panels, bio-methanation, electric vehicles, mangroves, Miyawaki forests and green buildings will be taken up as the projects in the first phase of this scheme. A comprehensive study will be done by February, said a Corporation official.
Following initiatives taken by the State government, Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi has ordered civic officials to take steps to increase the fleet of battery-operated vehicles and other projects to reduce the civic body’s carbon footprint.
More land for development of infrastructure for recharging of battery-operated vehicles and projects that reduce emissions are expected to be earmarked in the 15 zones of the city, the officials said.
“The Corporation has been slowly but steadily weeding out manual tricycles and mini trucks and tippers, replacing them with battery-operated vehicles. This has reduced the pressure on diesel-operated trucks, increasing the usage of cleaner technology, which will ultimately give carbon credits to the GCC,” said an official. The Corporation has more than 5,000 battery operated vehicles now.
In a bid to make the air cleaner, the civic body is focusing on sand sweepers on the roads. In addition to the existing 69 vehicles, eight more sand sweeping vehicles are expected to be commissioned shortly. Even though the vehicles are not likely to reduce emissions, this is expected to reduce pollution on the road.
Civic proposals that strengthen the framework of carbon credits are expected to be taken up once the State government gives its nod.
“A carbon credit is a permit that allows an organisation to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gas. One credit permits the emission of a mass equal to one tonne of carbon dioxide. Organisations can purchase additional credits from other organisations who offset emissions through programmes that directly remove greenhouse gases in the atmosphere — such as afforestation or alternative technologies that help reduce emissions like solar energy,” said an official.
The carbon credit was introduced as a part of the cap and trade mechanism which was proposed and accepted at a United Nations conference in 1997. The conference was held to address the need to reduce emissions, due to climate change, while continuing to stimulate industry.
Consultants at an agency hired by the GCC will verify and monitor carbon credit generation from eligible projects. The agency will trade carbon credits on behalf of Chennai Smart City Ltd. and will help the authorities identify and design future civic projects to consider for carbon credits.
Corporation officials said the consultants had started to collect baseline data and data on carbon credit generation from various departments given the absence of eligible projects and their associated carbon savings.
By February, Greater Chennai Corporation is expected to get data about the estimates of carbon credit generation as well as the revenue generation from all eligible projects at periodic intervals. After February, the consultants are expected to liaise with CSCL and GCC to advertise and trade carbon credits to a suitable buyer and bring revenue.
Analysis of data from civic projects such as waste to energy, solar energy, LED lights on streets, green building, Miyawaki forests, mangroves and bicycle sharing is under way and will be verified for carbon credits, the officials said.