Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Cities Of Problems: The Question Of Urban Emissions

Ever-increasing urbanisation has a major role in India’s higher GHG emissions because cities are engines of economic growth but also contributors to ambient warming. A complete mindset overhaul is needed for revitalising the living spaces of urban India to improve the quality of life for all
May 3, 2023

In popular perception, growing more trees, burning less fossil fuels, and switching to renewable energy sources are the most widely understood ways of checking global warming and climate change. However, what is less obvious is the crucial role that cities will have to undertake if the world is to achieve net-zero levels of carbon emission.

The critical nature of this role emerges from the startling fact that though cities occupy just 2% of the world’s land, they are responsible for as much as 70% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. At the same time, cities present environment-related planners and policymakers with a grave dilemma. On the one hand, cities are engines of economic growth; on the other, they are the biggest sources of carbon emission. In comparison, the transport sector, which attracts considerable ire, accounts for 23% of GHG emissions.

For economically advanced countries, cutting back on urban emissions will be tough due to high levels of urbanization, but it will be even more difficult for developing countries like India, which has to strike a fine balance between reducing GHG emissions in its rapidly growing urban centers and maintaining rates of economic growth high enough to lift people out of poverty. This dilemma was recognized in 2015 by the inclusion of Goal 11 in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN. This goal aimed at building sustainable cities and communities as part of the 2030 Agenda that at the same time sought to end poverty, protect the planet, and improve the lives of “everyone, everywhere”.

Unlock Premium Content!
Subscribe Now for Exclusive News Coverage

We do not depend on advertisers to bring you the most important stories from the social and development sectors. Support us by becoming a member to keep our reporting free and fair in public interest.

₹ 100/-
1 Day Access
  • You get access to all our stories for one day
₹ 1000/-
12 Months at just ₹2.80 per day
  • You get access to all our stories for one year.
  • You get access to the entire archive.
₹ 1800/-
24 Months at just ₹2.45 per day
  • You get access to all our stories for two years.
  • You get access to the entire archive.

Already a member?

For bulk subscription for institutions, libraries, universities please write to us at: subscription@tatsatchronicle.com

Kalyan Chatterjee

The writer has been a media professional for 38 years. He was the former HoD of the Amity School of Communication, Amity University.