Mumbai to go net-zero by 2050, two decades ahead of India’s target

Mumbai announced detailed plans to zero out carbon emissions by 2050, a target that puts it two decades ahead of India’s national goal and makes it the first city in South Asia to set such a timeline.

In the plan announced on Sunday, Mumbai has proposed exhaustive changes to the way it manages energy, water, air, waste, green spaces and transport for its 19 million residents.

“We don’t have the luxury of time,” said Aaditya Thackeray, environment minister of Maharashtra.

Without intervention, the effects of climate change could cost India $35 trillion over the next 50 years. By 2050, rising sea levels are expected to flood those parts of the city. In total, unabated climate change could cost the city $920 million. Drawing on inputs from officials, citizens, researchers and companies, Mumbai’s plan lists changes across six domains.

This includes investments in housing, electrifying public transport and more walkable roads; flood-resistant drainage and water conservation apart from adding open spaces, investing in clean water and sanitation, and rooftop solar capacities.

Mumbai may consider raising funds through green bonds announced by the federal government, said Saurabh Punamiya, government adviser. It will receive funding from Maharashtra, which also plans to raise funds for climate mitigation projects through the Union government and global lenders, said Tanmay Takle, policy advisor to the state government.

This access to investments, along with a $6-billion annual budget, give the city an advantage over peers to implement climate targets. “The policies are actually opening the doors for such investments to come in,” Thackeray said.

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