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The Addis Ababa Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory of 2012 that was released last week shows that of the 4.8 million tons of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) the city emits, transport vehicles account for 47 percent of the total emission. This may not come as a surprise considering that Addis Ababa has 50 percent of the national vehicle stock. Within the transportation sector, on road transportation accounts for 1. 4 million tons of CO2 emissions, while the aviation sector is responsible for the remainder.
Transportation needs in Addis Ababa are increasing, parallel to the city’s population growth and economic development. By 2020, the number of trips taken in vehicles across the city is expected to reach 7.7 million trips per day, nearly double the travel demand in 2010. Passenger cars alone, however, are not to blame for the high level of emissions. About 34 percent of transport emissions originate from trips to and from the adjacent Oromia special zone, as well as heavy duty cargo trucks incoming from seaports in Djibouti.
Though Addis Ababa consumes 49 percent of Ethiopia’s electricity, high usage of kerosene, and charcoal for domestic cooking and power needs is one of the largest and most significant sources for the emission, releasing 1.3 million tons of CO2.  As the city undergoes increasing urbanization and household incomes rise, it is expected that more families will switch to electricity as a cleaner alternative.
The Industrial and Manufacturing sector and Commercial and Institutional emissions were surprisingly low, reported at about 0.21 and 0.02 million tons of CO2, respectively. More significant is the CO2 emissions attributed to waste disposal, which accounts for 13 percent of total emissions. In 2012, here were few industrial activities within Addis Ababa, but over the past few years, increasing level of investment has gone into the establishment of industries, such as the newly developed Bole Lemi Industrial Zone.
The Addis Ababa Environment Protection Authority (AAEPA) is displeased with the growing emissions and has called for stakeholders to take serious action.
Adugna Mekonnen, Vice CEO of (AAEPA) told Capital that using eco friendly vehicles and materials in our homes must be encouraged to reduce the high levels of emissions.
“The number of vehicles hitting the road is increasing every year and emission increases parallel to that. So, stakeholders in the transport sector must seriously look into encouraging the use of fuel efficient vehicles, while at the same time making sure that cars that emit more CO2 are discouraged.”
He added that more effort must be made to encourage people to choose public transport and the light rail over private transportation. “Reducing the number of cars on the roads means reducing carbon emission. With a short period of time, the light rail system will start operation.  And, as much as possible, we have to convince people who have cars to use the train.’’
“The other thing is we have to work on is making households aware of the benefits of using electric stoves, which have zero carbon emission and cost less.”
The Greenhouse Gas Emission study was conducted by Echnoseve Consulting PLC in collaboration with the Addis Ababa City Administration.
Dr Daniel Fekreyesus, CEO of Echnoseve Consulting PLC said the study will help stakeholders to take targeted action, based on scientific research.