The per capita carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions in Tiruchi city has been estimated to be 0.33 tonnes a year, well below the national average of 1.75 tonnes, a British High Commission sponsored study has revealed.

The study was conducted by ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), South Asia, in the run up to the conference of parties (COP 15) on climate change in Copenhagen.

Tiruchi was among the 40 cities in India where the study was conducted under the project, ‘Roadmap of South Asian Cities and Local Governments for the post 2012 global climate agreement’. Similar studies have been conducted in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.

Explaining the findings of the study, Soumya Chaturvedula, Manager, ICLEI, South Asia, and C. Sellakumar, Project Officer, ICLEI, said the total carbon emissions of the City has been estimated at 3,59,466.8 tonnes of CO2e per annum. Of this, the Corporation services contribute 21,963.42 tonnes while community activities account for 3,37,503.38 tonnes of CO2e.

The study covered the Corporation’s energy consumption in various sectors such as street lighting, transportation, water supply, residential, commercial and industrial, Corporation Commissioner T.T. Balsamy said.

The analysis of the data from these sectors was used to arrive at the City Energy Status Report, which indicates the energy consumption by the sectors concerned and resultant carbon emissions. Forty-seven per cent of the Corporation’s energy consumption went for water supply and sewerage pumping, 34 per cent for street lighting, 10 per cent for transportation and nine per cent for buildings.

Nearly 80 per cent of the city’s carbon emissions came from solid wastes, as the dumping sites have a high potential to generate methane. Sixteen per cent of the emissions were from residential sector, three per cent from commercial and one per cent from industrial.

The study would help the Corporation to understand its energy consumption pattern and where the carbon emissions came from so that appropriate energy efficiency measures could be incorporated. The study should lead to evolving an energy efficiency master plan, Ms. Chaturvedula said.

A similar exercise has been carried out in 52 other South Asian cities, including those in India, leading to the preparation of a carbon emission inventory of the cities. The findings of the study taken up in 53 South Asian cities, including those in India, would be formally released in New Delhi in the first week of November.