India became the fifth largest economy surpassing the UK recently, recording a greater-than-expected 7.2% GDP growth rate in FY 2022–23. Also, as per the latest State of World Population (SOWP) report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), India is the most populous country on the planet, leaving behind China.
Growing population and economy are often accompanied with a rising urban population, which ultimately results in a higher demand for transportation. Undoubtedly, transportation (both public and goods) is the lifeline of any city, and its demand is often dubbed as an indicator of economic activities.
This World Environment Day begs the question—how sustainable are the mobility practices of urban dwellers in India.
Simply put, the answer boils down to our choices of transport, which impact the environment differently. Emissions associated with a vehicle from the early stages of its manufacturing to scrappage (end of operational life) are captured as ‘life cycle emissions’, a holistic metric to compare different modes. The higher the life cycle emissions of a vehicle, the higher the impact on the environment.