Reducing Carbon Emissions through Videoconferencing: An Indian Case Study

Author and Institution: 
Debendra Kumar Mahalik, Sambalpur University, Orissa, India

Globally, India ranks second in terms of population and among the five most­polluting nations, due to its size but also due to a relative lack of implemented initiatives to check and reduce carbon and other emissions (Parikh et al 2009, Lu et al 2011). The major emitters are construction and manufacturing, but the direct and indirect carbon emissions of the transport sector contribute around 14% of the total; a contribution that is forecast to rise inexorably in coming years (Singh 2006, Parikh et al 2009). The carbon emissions from transportation relate to both social and business uses and, within the latter category, some contribution occurs from travel relating to official government meetings.

Those meetings are an integral part of the functioning of government – to receive information about the current status of responsible areas; to make decisions including policy decisions; and to track the progress of decision implementation. Given India’s large size – even within its individual states – many government meetings require attendees to be transported by carbon­emitted means. This case study outlines one initiative in Orissa state which sought to reduce the requirement to physically transport meeting attendees, by making use of information and communication technology in the form of videoconferencing (VC).