At COP 22 in Marrakesh, India presents its own Climate Road Map
India accounts for six percent of global emissions according to the data accumulated by the Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions. India’s emissions have increased 67.1 percent between 1990 and 2012 and are projected to grow by 85 percent by 2030 under a business-as-usual scenario.
By contrast, greenhouse gas emissions for China and the US have come down in 2015. Although both countries remain the world’s biggest emitters, in three years running the global emissions have remained at 36.4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, according to this data.
Global emissions have, though, not peaked and India is expected to continue on a 5-6 percent growth trajectory in its emissions in the coming years.
India’s emissions are low compared to those of the US and China. India accounts for only four percent of global cumulative energy-related emissions since 1850, compared to 16 percent by the US and 15 percent by China. But the way Indian emissions are increasing, we are expected to be soon taking over from China. China’s emissions in 2015 were 0.7 percent less than in 2014 and are likely to decline by another 0.5 percent in 2016.
Chinese emissions have declined due to a slowdown in the consumption of coal. India, by contrast, continues to remain dependent on coal. India is pledged under the Copenhagen Accord to reduce its carbon dioxide intensity by 20 to 25 percent by 2020 as compared to 2050 levels. In 2016, they are expected to come down by another 1.7 percent.
US emissions are also showing a downward graph and have come down by 2.5 percent in 2015 as compared to 2014. India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement saw it committing to reduce its emission intensity of GDP by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.
India is going in for a major electrification program in order to achieve 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resource by 2020 with the help of technology and low-cost international financing including Green Climate Fund. It will also create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
India has already introduced a number of policies that will help with climate mitigation. What is alarming is that global emissions have continued to grow at the rate of three percent between 2000 and 2010. They have slowed down in the last five years but unfortunately, this has not led to a corresponding halt in the increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. Interestingly, one of the main reasons for this is being ascribed to the El Nino effect being caused by rising temperatures on the planet. Rising temperatures create a situation where carbon dioxide cannot be absorbed by the atmosphere.
India has come up with a comprehensive National Action Plan on climate change whose details are presently being discussed at length at the COP 21 climate meet being held at Marrakesh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to increasing renewable production and has a detailed plan in place under the nomenclature of the Strategic Plan for Renewable Energy capacity by 300,000 MW while the target for solar energy is 20GW.
A tax on coal has already collected $ three billion for India’s clean energy fund. Modi is also in the process of creating 100 smart cities which will have better transport systems and energy networks.
Minister of Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu has embarked on a major programme to make over 100 smart cities climate-friendly and sustainable in the next decade. Naidu has said, ` We hope to improve public transport and non-motorised transport, focus on new and renewable sources of energy and conversion of solid waste into compost as some of the climate-friendly initiatives mandated under the new urban missions,’ he said.