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Assessing the Mitigation Potential of Urban India: Learnings from the Data-driven Approaches

Climate action in cities is crucial to achieving long term decarbonization goals and limiting global warming to below 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels. Indian cities are major growth centres with urban population projected to nearly double in the next three decades: by 2050, 877 million people are likely to be living in urban areas. This rapid urbanization and uncontrolled land use have not only increased energy use and greenhouse gas emissions but also increased the susceptibility to several climate risks, particularly flooding and heat waves. Cities account for two-thirds of global energy consumption and more than 70% of annual carbon emissions.

As cities urbanize, choices made today will shape the future impacts of climate change and the capacity to respond to them. Given that half of India’s population will live in cities by 2050, ensuring low carbon and resilient economic growth in cities will be critical in shaping India’s future emissions. However, it is imperative that climate action planning is backed up by sound science and quantitative modelling of future emission growth scenarios.

Climate action in cities, however, remains largely siloed and driven by quantitative data. There is limited motivation and capacities to use modelling-based approaches towards developing mitigation and adaptation strategies. Keen to bridge this science policy disconnect and understand the capacity needs for data driven climate action in cities, WRI India, with support from Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation has conducted a study to understand the urban mitigation potential in 4 cities (Indore, Surat, Ujjain and Mumbai). The study uses the CURB tool to generate sectoral emission reduction targets, analyze different action packages and evaluate their cost, feasibility, and impact.

Furthermore, a national-level modelling exercise using the energy policy simulator tool has also been carried out to estimate emissions growth and mitigation opportunity in the urban space under different policy scenarios.

We are organizing this hybrid dissemination event on “Assessing the Mitigation Potential of Urban India: Learnings from the Data-Driven Approaches” to discuss some of the findings of this study. We also aim to stimulate discussion with key experts and stakeholders about the utility of modelling approaches for city climate action planning.


  • Shwetal Shah, Climate Change Department, Government of Gujarat (To be confirmed)
  • Lokendra Thakkar, Environment Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh (To be confirmed)
  • Pratibha Pal, IAS, Commissioner, Indore Municipal Corporation (To be confirmed)
  • Rishav Gupta, IAS, CEO, Indore Smart City (To be confirmed)
  • Dr Rama Pandey, Associate Professor & Head, Department of Environmental Planning, School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal (To be confirmed)
  • Subrata Chakrabarty, Senior Manager, Climate Program, WRI India
  • Saransh Bajpai, Senior Manager, Climate Program, WRI India
  • Ramya MA, Program Associate, Climate Program, WRI India

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