KOCHI: The Kochi Corporation has proposed a series of measures to make Kochi the country's first city to sell carbon credit by regulating greenhouse gas emission. In the annual budget for 2018-19, the civic administration has made an initial allocation of Rs.2 crore in addition to the state and central funds to implement projects aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of the city.
Clean air Kochi, solar and biogas projects, biodiversity register, biodiversity garden, environmental information system, mangroves' park, planting more trees in public spaces, special squads for pruning trees, encouraging net-zero energy buildings, LED street lights and rooftop solar panels in all government offices in the city are some of the budget proposals for reducing carbon emission. Funds have been allocated for each of the proposal.
Net-zero energy building is one with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site. The civic authorities hope that such projects can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate environmental damage and promote economic development. "Introduction of mass transport system like Kochi Metro, shifting to LED lighting, introducing non-motorised transport modes such as cycling and development of walkways could curtail carbon emission. A study will be initiated to assess the carbon footprint in the city," said Deputy Mayor T.J. Vinod in the budget speech.
The city will adopt a new development policy which gives a thrust on non-conventional energy sources like solar and biogas which will help enhance the city's environmental service value. This will also open up the possibility of entering into the global carbon credit market, according to Mayor Soumini Jain. The mayor remarked that the plan is to make Kochi an early player in the growing carbon offset market and to take advantage of the revenue it can earn, especially in the light of weak financial condition.
The carbon credit market is burgeoning on a fast pace and the total carbon credit sale recorded across the world in 2017-17 was Rs.1,200 crore. A carbon credit is a permit or certificate allowing the holder to emit carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. The credit limits the emission to a mass equal to one tonne of carbon dioxide. The issuance of carbon credits aims to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.