Sustainable space heating solutions in the Himalayan region can reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030

Posted on
01 July 2020
71.4% of emissions due to space heating in the Indian Himalayan Region is contributed by states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jammu and Kashmir, according to new report by WWF India and TERI
The report highlights 17 space heating solutions in the Indian Himalayan Region to minimize CO2 emissions

New Delhi: The Indian Himalayas are one of the most ecologically fragile regions in the world. Given its cold climatic conditions and unavailability of regular source of power and limited financial capacity of local communities, people in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) often resort to   fuel wood to provide thermal comfort in their built environment. The traditional space heating mechanisms not only contribute to the increasing emissions of the region but also lead to degradation of natural resources and adversely impact the health of people residing in these areas.
It is in the light of this that WWF India (World Wide Fund for Nature) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) have released a report, “Sustainable Space Heating Solutions in the Himalayan Region” that studies the impact of the adoption of new clean energy technologies on emissions in the IHR and suggests that sustainable space heating systems can bring down CO2 emissions by 30% in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) by 2030.  The report highlights the possibility of a reduction of CO2 emissions from space heating in the Himalayas from the projected 17.8 MT by 2030 under a business as usual (BAU) scenario to 12.3 MT through the use of efficient technologies. Currently the emissions from space heating for the year 2020 stand at approximately 15.9 million (MT) of CO2, for the entire Himalayan region, equivalent to annual emissions generated from about 27 units of 200MW thermal power plants.
According to the report, about 78 per cent of the total emissions in the IHR are from space heating in residential dwellings in rural areas of the region, with 71.4% attributed to the northern states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jammu and Kashmir.  The development and deployment of innovative solutions developed by MSMEs thus have a tremendous potential to not only reduce the rising emissions but also decrease indoor air pollution and its associated health hazards. However, limited financial capacities of households and lack of awareness have been identified as the primary barrier to a slower than required transition from traditional fuelwood based heating to more efficient and clean energy-based sustainable space heating technologies despite their availability.
Speaking on the issue, Dr. Sejal Worah, Programme Director, WWF India says, “The Himalayas are a very heterogeneous region and the space heating solutions have to be designed to be responsive to both community needs and the ecological fragility of the region. Sustainable space heating systems can greatly improve the comfort and well-being of people, reduce impacts on natural resources and address the global issue of climate change from increasing emissions. While there is no dearth of innovation in this space, the challenge lies in the reach and uptake of these solutions in these regions.”
The report highlights the role of MSMEs, innovators and start-ups in developing and mainstreaming sustainable technologies. It also identifies inadequate access to capital and skilled workforce, along with dense legislation and statutory compliance as barriers to this transition. If implemented well, the use of new technologies can supplement the pace in achieving the target of emissions intensity reduction of India’s GDP by 33–35 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
Note to the Editor:
This report is part of an ongoing initiative of WWF-India’s ‘Climate Solver’ programme. Climate Solver is a climate innovations platform by WWF to strengthen the development and widespread use of low carbon technologies developed by startups and SMEs, which radically or transformatively reduce greenhouse gas emissions or provide clean energy access. WWF's Climate Solver platform first began in Sweden in 2008 and launched in India in 2012.Climate Solver India page:

For further details, please contact:  Rituparna Sengupta | Associate Director, Marketing & Communication | |    011-41504797
Sakshi Gaur| Assistant Manager, Communications-Climate Change and Energy| | 011 – 41504823


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