The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) added another feather to its cap after receiving accolades from the United Nations (UN). DMRC has been certified as the first Metro Rail and Rail based system in the world to receive carbon credits for reducing greenhouse emissions. Thereby, Delhi Metro has effectively cut down pollution levels in the city by 6.3 lakh tons every year.
Under the Programme of Activities (PoA) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Delhi Metro has also been registered as the world’s first transport sector project. Thus, DMRC will be the managing entity for fast-tracking Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) registration of all upcoming rail based metro projects in India.
Contribution of the Delhi Metro has been recognised by the UNFCCC, which is administering the CDM under the Kyoto Protocol. DMRC has been rewarded with carbon credits worth Rs. 47 crore annually for the next seven years. This figure is also deemed to increase with increase in the number of passengers. Around 18 lakh people travel in the city’s Metro Rail system on a daily basis, which is highly environment friendly. This humongous number of people would have otherwise travelled in private cars or other public transports which release harmful greenhouse gases such as sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM), carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and oxides of nitrogen (NO/NO2).
Going by statistics, every day the Delhi Metro helps to remove around 91 thousand vehicles from the roads of Delhi. And every passenger who chooses to use the Metro instead of other modes of communication like cars, busses, bikes, scooters and auto rickshaws help in reducing emissions to the extent of approximately 100 gm of carbon dioxide for travelling a distance of 10 km.
What is Carbon Credit?
Investopedia explains carbon credit as a permit that allows a holder to emit one ton of carbon dioxide per credit. Credits are awarded to countries or groups when they effectively reduce their greenhouse gas emissions below their permissible limit. Carbon credits can also be traded in the international market at the current market price.
For instance, if a non-governmental organisation (NGO) takes up a project to plant enough trees to reduce emissions by one ton, they will be awarded one carbon credit. Similarly, if a shoe factory holds an emission quota of 10 tons but is expecting to emit 11 tons of harmful gasses, it can buy one carbon credit from the NGO.
What is Kyoto Protocol?
The carbon credit system was ratified in aggregation to the Kyoto Protocol, which is an international treaty signed by several countries in 1997. It aims to bring down the level of carbon and other greenhouse gasses emissions. Presently there are 192 participatory countries to the Protocol.