- GS-3: Environmental Conservation
- GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
Carbon Watch App: To assess Carbon Footprint
Context: Chandigarh became the first state or Union Territory in India to launch Carbon Watch, a mobile application to assess the carbon footprint of an individual.
What is Carbon Footprint?
- Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases-especially carbon dioxide-released into the atmosphere by a particular human activity.
- It is expressed as a weight of CO2 emissions produced in tonnes.
- It can be a broad measure or be applied to the actions of an individual, a family, an event, an organization, or even an entire nation.
- Carbon footprint includes direct emissions, such as from driving a car, as well as whatever emissions are required to consume any goods and services (indirect)
- Carbon footprint is different from ecological footprint. While the carbon footprint measures the emission of gases that contribute to global warming, the ecological footprint focuses on measuring the use of bio-productive space.
About the app
- The application that can be downloaded on mobile focuses on individual’s actions and calculates the carbon footprint based on four parameters: Water, Energy, Waste Generation and Transport (Vehicular movement)
- The application will also provide information such as the national and world average of the emission, and the individual’s level of emission generation.
- The motive behind this application is making people Climate-Smart Citizens while enabling them capable of accessing their carbon footprint, along with providing them with steps to reduce it
- The mobile application will suggest methods to reduce the carbon footprints as per the information furnished by the individuals.
- It also sensitizes people about their lifestyle emissions, their impact and possible countermeasures to mitigate the same.
Effects of Higher Carbon Footprint
- Increase in Carbon dioxide concentration in atmosphere causes Global Warming i.e Greenhouse gas effect
- Climate Change
- Melting of Polar Caps
- Depletion of resources: Due to changed Carbon concentration in biosphere
- Increasing Incidents of Severe Weather
- Changes in food supply
Methods of Reducing Carbon Footprint
- Water: Adopting better agronomic practices (like drip irrigation), shifting dietary basket from water guzzling cereal crops to water conserving millets (also Health benefits), recycling of water in industries, smart water metering at households
- Energy: Using renewable energy (shift from carbon intensive coal), smart metering, Energy sector Reforms particularly in DISCOMs, Using energy efficient appliances
- Waste: Adopting the 4 R’s- Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
- Transportation: Using Public Transport, bicycles, car pooling
- Market mechanism like Carbon Trading: Individuals and companies can also offset some of their carbon dioxide emissions by purchasing carbon credits, the money from which can go into projects such as planting trees or investing in renewable energy.
- International Collaboration: Implementation of the Climate change conventions like the Paris Agreement and Indian initiatives for the same must be fast forwarded.
Connecting the dots:
- The benefits of Carbon Tax