Low Carbon Society Scenario Bhopal 2035

All over the world, cities are major contributors to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and the same is true for the cities in India. In pursuit of environment friendly development, many cities in various parts of the world have attempted to design and implement climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. Developing low carbon cities is a step in that direction.
Developing Low Carbon Society (LCS) studies at city level gives a platform where researchers interact with stakeholders and policymakers to integrate their knowledge and build relevant scenarios for transition towards LCS. The LCS roadmaps thus achieved will help in integration of development activities, prioritize investments in urban infrastructure, and provide incentives for use of innovative technologies to improve efficiency. Another important contribution will be to promote behavioral and lifestyle changes.

To define the pathways towards reaching the desired goal of LCS, methodologies to workout a broad framework would be needed. This framework should also look at the opportunities of cobenefits apart from the direct GHG emissions reduction. Such co-benefits, like improved local ambient air quality and health benefits work towards minimizing social costs.
To analyze the role that urban settlements can play in moving towards LCS, it would be necessary to take cases studies of cities that show diverse characteristics. It would be useful to take-up large number of studies before any generalizations can be drawn as the cities that have grown over the years have distinct individualities that cannot be easily generalized. More so, in case of a country like India, the diversity in terms of climate, topography, resource-potential, economic-base and socio-cultural practices has resulted in a variety of development patterns. To explore and analyze the role of rapidly urbanizing metropolitan cities in India, towards moving on low carbon pathways, a case study of Bhopal located in Central India has been taken up.
In the present study, simulations for two possible scenarios namely Business as Usual (BaU) and Low Carbon Society (LCS) for Bhopal in 2035 are developed and emission reduction potentials of various counter measures are quantified using the AIM/ExSS model. Action plan and policy measures are suggested for moving towards the LCS Bhopal 2035.
The simulations show that the GHG emission and energy consumption increase in both the scenarios. The GHG emissions of Bhopal in 2005 were around 2.5 million ton CO2 which rise byaround 6 times to 14.2 million ton CO2 in the target year 2035 under the BaU. However, with energy efficiency improvements, development of renewable energy, and other policies to promote sustainable development across all sectors, Bhopal has about 40% GHG emission reduction potential over BaU level in the possible LCS Scenario.
The scenario assessment shows that, of the total emission reduction potential, 50% would be due to fuel switch which is prominent in residential, commercial and industrial sectors; about 40% would be due to energy efficiency improvements mostly from residential, commercial, and transport sectors; and remaining around 10% would come from reduction in energy service demand in residential and transport sectors.
The LCS approach demands greater efficiency of energy consumption as well as reduction in GHG emissions. Pursuit of these goals presents wide ranging issues in urban transportation, industrial, residential and commercial sectors. Many of the measures in these areas overlap with each other.
In pursuit of developing LCS Bhopal 2035, the menu of policies and measures fosters numerous objectives and these policy priorities change and evolve constantly with challenges of the day. The overall vision of the LCS approach is to make Bhopal a more livable entity to all its residents. Seven Actions have been suggested that can impact the existing energy consumption pattern as well as GHG emissions in future. These actions have been defined with an understanding of the inherent strengths and potential of Bhopal district which can be explored at this time of rapid development.
A sustainable path taken now can guide tomorrow’s growth in a more holistic and inclusive manner with little need of post-action course correction. These actions, though, identified separately for the ease of communication, are inseparably linked in the LCS framework and can only work in conjunction towards achieving the vision.