The need to curb black carbon emissions

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Environment, Ecology and Disaster Management, Topic: Pollution, Issue: Black carbon

Context: Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) addressing the concern of black carbon

Black carbon:

  • Emitted during incomplete combustion of biomass and fossil fuels.
  • Exposure leads to heart disease, birth complications, and premature death.
  • PMUY has reduced black carbon emissions by promoting the use of cleaner fuels.


  • 25% PMUY of beneficiaries still cook solely with traditional biomass.
  • Availability issues and last-mile connectivity gaps hinder PMUY’s success.
  • Reliance on traditional fuel disproportionately affect women and children.

Recent steps to address this concern:

  • Prime Minister announced a further ₹100 price reduction in March 2024,
  • The government plans to continuously increase the spending since the scheme’s inception.

The way ahead:

  • Panchayats can take the initiative to produce coal-bed methane gas from biomass.
  • Prioritizing black carbon reduction is crucial for India’s global leadership in SDG.
+1 Advantage For Mains (Data Point)

·        In 2022-2023, 25% of PMUY beneficiaries, approximately 2.69 crore people, used either zero or just one LPG refill.

·        An August 2023 report by The Hindu found that the average PMUY beneficiary household consumes only 3.5-4 LPG cylinders annually, compared to 6-7 cylinders used by regular non-PMUY households.

·        According to a 2016 study, the residential sector contributes 47% of India’s total black carbon emissions, with industries contributing 22%, diesel vehicles 17%, open burning 12%, and other sources 2%.

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