The DMRC has submitted a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) proposal to the Ministry of Environment and Forests to earn carbon credits for the ‘modal shift’ of Metro commuters. The logic: Metro commuters are preventing carbon emissions by using public transport, as opposed to private cars.
The ministry is considering the project. If it comes through, it is likely to open doors for similar CDM projects for other public transport systems — the CNG-run Bus Rapid Transit system, for example, could be one.
Another CDM project of the Delhi Metro — saving energy through ‘regenerative’ braking in trains — has also begun to rake in carbon credits. This makes Delhi Metro the first government agency in the Capital, and the first railway system in the world, to earn carbon credits. Under the same project, DMRC will now earn credits for its first phase of operation — between 2004 and 2007.
“The basis of the new CDM proposal is that we are averting carbon emissions through the modal shift of commuters from private cars to clean public transport,” a DMRC official said.
The number of commuters using the Metro, meanwhile, is going up across all categories of vehicle owners. The official said: “We have found that people owning two-wheelers who use the Metro increased from 32 per cent in 2007 to 66 per cent at present. Similarly, car owners using our trains went up from 52 per cent in 2007 to 62 per cent in 2009.”
DMRC has just put out a global tender for the best price for Voluntary Emission Reductions (VER) for its braking CDM. The initial CDM project was for the 2007-2017 period, for which DMRC has earned 4 lakh carbon credits (the value of each credit is between $ 13 to $ 30, depending on the carbon market).
Now, DMRC can earn 90,000 more VERs for the 2004-2007 period, when the trains first became operational.