Low Carbon Action Plan for Bihar’s Waste Sector Will Support Emission Reduction Strategies

The Government of Bihar has committed to transforming itself into Net Zero State by 2070. Several leading technical agencies and organizations are helping the Bihar state government to achieve this ambitious climate target. ICLEI South Asia, as one of the partner agencies, is supporting the state government of Bihar in strengthening its waste management profile by formulating a Low-Carbon Action Plan (LCAP) for the waste sector with detailed GHG emission inventory and forecasting for the waste sector.

As per India’s second Biennial Update Report (BUR II) report, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from the waste sector contributed 2.7 percent to the total GHG emissions of the country in 2016. More than 79 percent of these emissions came from domestic and industrial wastewater while 21 percent came from municipal solid waste. With increasing urbanization and exponential population growth, it is critical to strengthen capacities and governance processes at the State and Sub-national level to mainstream climate considerations while planning, designing, implementing, and financing of waste services.

To develop the LCAP, ICLEI South Asia has conducted an assessment of the baseline situation of the solid waste management and domestic wastewater management system in the State. It helped to identify infrastructural, regulatory, institutional, and monitoring gaps in their management systems. The team interacted with various line departments and government agencies to collect and validate the baseline information and conducted field verification surveys in 10 Gram Panchayats (across 4 Districts – Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, Nalanda, and Begusarai) and in Patna city.

A State level GHG emissions inventory covering municipal solid waste, industrial wastewater, and rural and urban domestic wastewater for the period of 2016 to 2020 has been conducted. The total aggregated GHG emissions from the waste sector in Bihar in the year 2020 are estimated to be 8.20 million tons of CO2e (MtCO2e), representing an increase of 23.2% (or 6.66 MtCO2e) from 2016.

Based on baseline waste management system information and GHG emissions inventory, ICLEI has developed an LCAP for the waste sector of Bihar state, which has a list of core and enabling actions for improving solid waste management and domestic waste water management system in the State with 2030 at the target year; in sync with SAPCC 2.0 timeline.

The Action Plan highlights the importance of a holistic waste management system in the state, with suitable infrastructure to reduce sectoral GHG emissions supported by efficient planning, operation, and monitoring.  The plan proposes mitigating quantifiable GHG emissions through infrastructure interventions and better service provisioning through core strategies while identifying the enablers to facilitate the successful implementation of these core actions. Specific actions have been formulated in sync with the state-level vision and goals for the waste sector under the overarching national-level framework. If the LCAP actions are implemented the total waste sector GHG emissions by 2030 in Bihar are expected to be 6.95 MtCO2e, which is 2% less compared to baseline (2020) emissions and 22% less compared to business as usual (BAU) emissions (8.88 MtCO2e) in 2030.

A detailed techno-economic assessment note for ‘bio-methanation’ technology has been also developed as part of the LCAP. This assessment explores the techno-economic feasibility of processing municipal organic waste through bio-methanation, as one of the circular economy solutions, with the potential to have economic, social, and environmental co-benefits.

ICLEI has also developed GHG emissions forecasting for Bihar’s waste sector, which intends to capture sectoral GHG emissions with respect to different scenarios i.e., Business as usual (BAU) and Low Carbon Pathway 2070 (LCP 2070 scenario) or long-term net-zero scenario development (2030 for short-term, 2050 for medium-term, and 2070 for long-term).

In the LCP2070 scenario, Bihar’s total emissions from the waste sector by 2070 are expected to be 1.37 MtCO2e in 2070. Increased actions prescribed under the LCP2070 scenario will reduce Bihar’s future emissions below BAU forecast levels – about 22% decrease from BAU by 2030, 73% decrease from BAU by 2050, and 90% decrease from BAU by 2070.

These project outputs have been presented to the Government of Bihar department/agencies and other relevant stakeholders during the ‘Sectoral Roundtable Consultation’ organized by Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) in Patna on 13th February 2023.

The LCAP recommendations and outputs will also feed into the process of SAPCC 2.0 development by the State and facilitate the informed selection of appropriate mitigation strategies. Going forward, the LCAP is expected to play an important role in presenting key sources of GHG emissions, assessing mitigation potential, formulating a framework for setting goals and targets for future emission reductions, and supporting State policy-makers in developing sectoral strategies for achieving net-zero target.

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