VIRUDHUNAGAR: As a result of the development plans devised by the state government to reduce the carbon footprint in Rapalayam and its surrounding villages, the area will attain a carbon-neutral status by 2040 with the support of the people, said Additional Chief Secretary of Environment, Climate Change, and Forests Supriya Sahu at a consultative workshop "Carbon Neutral Rajapalayam", held in Rajapalayam on Wednesday.
According to sources, a new project 'Carbon Neutral' to create a sustainable future for the people of Tamil Nadu, is being developed and implemented across the state. "Rajapalayam is one among the four places which the state government, along with the Department of Environment and Climate change, chose as the pilot district/city to localise climate action and achieve Carbon-neutral status," sources said.
The project was launched in Rajapalayam by Minister of Environment and Climate Change Siva V Meyyanathan, Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu, and Revenue and Disaster Management Minister KKSSR Ramachandran. The workshop 'Carbon Neutral Rajapalayam' offered simple solutions to reduce carbon footprint and achieve a carbon-neutral status.
According to official sources, the temperature in Rajapalayam has increased by 2% to 3% in the last 30 years and studies reveal that, over the next 50 years, temperature will increase by an average of at least 3 to 4 degrees Celsius. As per 2021 estimate, Rajapalayam has a carbon exposure of 7 lakh tonnes, officials added.
Highlighting the possible methods to reduce carbon footprint and achieve carbon neutrality in Rajapalayam, Supriya Sahu, said there are high chances of not just achieving carbon neutrality in Rajapalayam but also making the place Carbon negative. "About 75% of electricity consumption here is by industries and it is possible to achieve carbon neutrality along with the growth in the industrial sector," she said.
She further added that there are many alternatives to generating electricity by using renewable energy sources, including solar energy and wind power. "The district has the potential for setting up wind turbines. A study has been carried out and turbines which are of small and medium sizes will be set up in suitable locations," she said. The official further stated that there are also opportunities to set up solar panels in industrial establishments, and increase the amount of electricity produced from alternative sources of energy," she added.
At the event, Minister Meyyanathan released a report on 'Carbon Neutral Rajapalayam' and 'Green Tamil Nadu Mission- Natural climate solutions for Net Zero carbon emissions'. Minister Thangam Thennarasu released an initial study and report on the municipality titled 'Rajapalayam- GHG emissions inventory and De-carbonization Pathway'. Minister KKSSR Ramachandran launched the 'Young Green Enthusiast Programme'. To mark the beginning of a Carbon-neutral future in Rajapalayam, three manjappai vending machines were handed over to the district administration, to reduce the usage of plastic.