You are here

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 1.5°C 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 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.


  • Dr Janak Palta McGilligan, Director, Jimmy McGilligan Centre for Sustainable Development
  • Rishav Gupta I.A.S., CEO, Indore Smart City
  • Pushyamitra Bhargav, Hon’ble Mayor, Indore Municipal Corporation
  • Lokendra Thakkar, Environment Department, Govt. of MP
  • Shwetal Shah, Climate Change Department, Govt. of Gujarat
  • Nilesh Patel, In-Charge, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, Surat Municipal Corporation
  • Dr Mohammad Arif, Environmental Safeguards Specialist, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA).
  • Dr Suprava Patnaik, Principal Advisor, Centre for Urban Governance, AIGGPA
  • Prarthana Borah, Director, CDP India
  • Ashish Verma, Country Coordinator – India, EU funded Global Covenant of Mayors
  • Dr Rama Pandey, Associate Professor & Head, Department of Environmental Planning, SPA, Bhopal
  • Mehul Patel, Program Lead, Climate Program, WRI India
  • Ramya MA, Program Associate, Climate Program, WRI India
  • Saransh Bajpai, Senior Manager, Climate Program, WRI India
  • Subrata Chakrabarty, Senior Manager, Climate Program, WRI India

Stay Connected

Sign up for our newsletters

Get the latest commentary, upcoming events, publications, and multimedia resources. Sign up for the monthly WRI India Digest.