Concentration of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere has been increasing rapidly during the last century due to ever increasing anthropogenic activities resulting in significant increases in the temperature of the Earth causing global warming. Major sources of GHG are forests (due to human induced land cover changes leading to deforestation), power generation (burning of fossil fuels), transportation (burning fossil fuel), agriculture (livestock, farming, rice cultivation and burning of crop residues), water bodies (wetlands), industry and urban activities (building, construction, transport, solid and liquid waste). Aggregation of GHG (CO2 and non-CO2 gases), in terms of Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), indicate the GHG footprint. GHG footprint is thus a measure of the impact of human activities on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced. This study focuses on accounting of the amount of three important greenhouses gases namely carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) and thereby developing GHG footprint of the major cities in India. National GHG inventories have been used for quantification of sector-wise greenhouse gas emissions. Country specific emission factors are used where all the emission factors are available. Default emission factors from IPCC guidelines are used when there are no country specific emission factors. Emission of each greenhouse gas is estimated by multiplying fuel consumption by the corresponding emission factor. The current study estimates GHG footprint or GHG emissions (in terms of CO2 equivalent) for Indian major cities and explores the linkages with the population and GDP.
GHG footprint (Aggregation of Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of GHG’s) of Delhi, Greater Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Greater Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad are found to be 38,633.2 Gg, 22,783.08 Gg, 14,812.10 Gg, 22,090.55 Gg, 19,796.5 Gg, 13,734.59 Gg and 91,24.45 Gg CO2 eq., respectively. The major contributors sectors are transportation sector (contributing 32%, 17.4%, 13.3%, 19.5%, 43.5%, 56.86% and 25%), domestic sector (contributing 30.26%, 37.2%, 42.78%, 39%, 21.6%, 17.05% and 27.9%) and industrial sector (contributing 7.9%, 7.9%, 17.66%, 20.25%, 12.31%, 11.38% and 22.41%) of the total emissions in Delhi, Greater Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Greater Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, respectively. Chennai emits 4.79 t of CO2 equivalent emissions per capita, the highest among all the cities followed by Kolkata which emits 3.29 t of CO2 equivalent emissions per capita. Also Chennai emits the highest CO2 equivalent emissions per GDP (2.55 t CO2 eq./Lakh Rs.) followed by Greater Bangalore which emits 2.18 t CO2 eq./Lakh Rs.