`Himachal to be carbon neutral by 2020`
New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh will be the first state in the country to become carbon neutral by 2020 by undertaking "carbon smart growth", Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said here Thursday.
"The government has inventorised greenhouse gas emission for assessing the carbon footprints. The carbon footprint per capita in the state has been assessed at 1.4 tonne per capita against the national average of 1.57 tonne per capita," Dhumal said at the 12th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit organised by The Energy and Resource Institute.
The state has signed a pact with the World Bank for harnessing carbon credits to generate carbon revenue amounting to Rs.20 crores for 20 years under "Bio Carbon Projects" in 10 districts of the state.
The Rs.365-crore Himachal Pradesh Mid-Himalayan Watershed Project being co-funded by the World Bank, is the first project in India registered for carbon credits.
The chief minister advocated the market-based instrument "payment for eco-system services" for maintenance, conservation and expansion of pristine Himalayan flora and fauna.
The state has prepared an environment master plan for guidelines in environmental protection, and would soon set up a centre on climate change in Shimla for coordinating research on climate change, added Dhumal.
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