Pro-Poor Low Carbon Sustainable Urban Development Programme – India

This project establishes a standard framework for implementing urban climate change programs. “Pro-Poor Low Carbon Sustainable Urban Development Programme” works in five New Delhi slums, analyzing conditions and measuring the results of deploying efficient technologies there. The framework being developed intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare communities for future climate change impacts, while improving living conditions for urban poor. The framework can then be implemented in cities worldwide.

Fast facts:

  • Never-before-conducted research collected data from 800 households in five different slums

  • Possible emission reductions of more than 3 million tons identified

  • Energy-efficient services rolled out in 1,500 households

  • Aim to reach entire Delhi slum population of up to 7 million people

The problem

It is estimated that by 2020, 50 “mega-cities” will be home to more than 5 million inhabitants each. Likewise more than 350 cities around the world will have a population of more than 1 million each. In order for financing of low-carbon infrastructure to grow and attract new funding sources, it is vital that investors have confidence in a global benchmark. With this benchmark they can measure progress and outcomes.


The solution

The Gold Standard Foundation is working on a common framework through which urban programs can be developed, monitored, and verified, in order to scale up and drive the investment needed for low-carbon cities. To start, primary data has been collected through door-to-door surveys to establish a greenhouse gas emissions baseline in New Delhi slums. This information is needed to verify emission reductions.

Once the emissions baseline is established, basic services can be rolled out based on renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies. These include in the areas of lighting, water provision, sanitation and waste management services, hot water in cold seasons, and clean cooking. Work conducted to date has determined that slums in Delhi emit 6.1 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, which could be reduced to 2.8 million tons through the implementation of these efficient services. The project continues as such technologies are implemented in a portion of Delhi slums, and the results measured.

Helping the planet

Clean cooking appliances and renewable energy-based lighting and water heating systems reduce the use of wood fuel, conserving natural resources. Efficient sanitation and waste-management measures also reduce pollution of the land, water, and air. And of course, reducing greenhouse gas emissions helps combat climate change.


Helping people

Efficiency measures reduce expenses for people living in the communities, contributing to their development. Poorer populations are made more resilient to climate impacts, while basic minimum living standards increase their quality of life. Phasing in the efficient technologies will also create employment opportunities.


Spillover effect

This project is oriented towards implementing large-scale, city-level changes. It is replicable by design, and other cities are already in the process of joining the program.



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