In a blog post originally published for National Geographic, Manish Bapna discusses India's low carbon future.
WRI established its India office in 2011. We work with leaders in business, government, and civil society to expand clean energy development, combat climate change, and develop sustainable transport solutions. Learn more about our work in India. Visit the WRI India website.
WRI initiated major bus reforms to improve public transportation in Bangalore, Karnataka, Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Surat and held car-free events in five Indian cities. During these "Raahgiri Days," cities closed streets to motorized vehicles for several hours to encourage walking, cycling and outdoor recreation, showing citizens that streets are for pedestrians and cyclists, not just cars.
With India’s urban population expected to grow to 590 million by 2030 and personal vehicle use on the rise, other forms of transportation suffer. Buses, India’s main public transit option, use outdated and inefficient systems, resulting in long commutes. Roads are unsafe: Pedestrians and bicyclists account for as much as 60 percent of road deaths in Indian cities. More personal motor vehicles cause traffic congestion and air pollution. Indian cities need improved transportation alternatives to decrease motorization and improve the urban quality of life.
WRI initiated major bus reforms to improve public transportation in four Indian cities. In Bangalore, WRI helped put in place a modern bus route system, a reform Indian cities had tried to implement for 20 years. WRI also aided in introducing city buses in seven cities in Karnataka. In 2013, WRI worked with transportation agencies in Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Surat to launch India’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) systems, where a lane is dedicated to buses, letting them travel faster. This year, WRI collaborated with the cities’ transport agencies to help design and train the operators to run 53 additional kilometers of BRT.
To make cities more walkable and bikeable, WRI held car-free events in five Indian cities, including Delhi and Navi Mumbai. For these events, called Raahgiri Days, cities closed streets to motorized vehicles for several hours to encourage walking, cycling and outdoor recreation, showing urban residents that city streets are for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as for cars.
Better bus systems and the Raahgiri movement have made life better for Indian city dwellers. Bangalore’s new bus network reduced travel times and improved public transport for approximately 150,000 passengers daily. Since implementing BRTs in three Indian cities, fatal accidents have decreased by 50 percent around BRT corridors, particulate air pollution has decreased by 20 percent, and a quarter of motor vehicle users have switched to public transportation. The Raahgiri phenomenon has changed how people perceive cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in Indian cities. .
Washington, DC (November 18)—India is revising its solar power generation target to 100,000 megawatts for 2022, five times greater than India’s current solar generation, according to remarks by made by Power and Renewable Energy minister Piyush Goyal on Monday. Goyals’ remarks came at a time when at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for enhanced collaboration on clean energy research and development during the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia.
How should countries decide what to put into their national emissions reduction plans, and how should they be evaluated? What should governments, civil society, and the private sector take into account in thinking about the equitability of a country’s actions?
WRI’s new online tool, the CAIT Equity Explorer, aims to help answer these questions.
EMBARQ India's The Hub brings connectivity and collaboration to Indian cities.
Reflecting on World Forest Week 2014, where the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN launched a Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism to help countries meet the Bonn Challenge to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands by 2020, we need to further think about creating the rich landscapes that the world needs.
In India, Tamil Nadu Electricity Governance Initiative (TEGI)—a network of consumer and civil society groups—has been using the Electricity Governance Initiative’s new tool, 10 Questions to Ask About Integrated Resources Planning, to evaluate the state’s current planning approach and understand how it can be improved.
This tool was designed to help make decision-making processes more transparent and enable greater engagement in the electricity sector. To date, TEGI’s work provides a good example of how this tool can be used to start putting Integrated Resources Planning (IRP) principles into practice.
India has come out with ambitious renewable energy goals, but the country still faces a daunting financing gap. WRI and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) are leading an innovative effort—The Green Power Market Development Group—that could bridge this finance gap and help overcome India’s energy challenges.