Urban Carbon Burden - The case of Pune City, India

Studying carbon emission-absorption balance of countries and areas within has become important to prioritize mitigation strategies and minimize global warming, as sought by the Kyoto Protocol.

The present investigation projected literature data about emission potential of socioeconomic strata along with Pune census data & sequestration potential from literature & our biomass surveys. These estimates were mapped for each sq. km. grid according to the consumption pattern of various economic groups and tree cover density respectively.

It emerges that only 2 % of the total 7.8 lakh tons of Carbon emitted into the atmosphere each year can be trapped by trees, while the remaining 98 % overload contributes to global warming. Rich people generate 34 % of above emission with per capita emission, which is eight times that of the poor.

Thus besides promoting tree plantation as a mitigation measure, it is imperative to curtail the consumption of rich citizens even within the poor countries to minimize emissions by a quarter of the present emission. Switching from private transport to public and minimizing consumer goods that are vigorously promoted by globalisation would be other effective ways of achieving this.