Energy Sector Responsible for Over 70% of GHG Emissions in India, says Latest Report Submitted by Country to UN

The energy sector alone produces 71% of all greenhouse gas emissions recorded in India, a new report submitted by India to the United Nations states. In the Biennial Update Report, which India submitted to the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change, the country has detailed the progress it has recorded based on the promises it made during the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit.

Known for its unhealthily high pollution levels, even as its cities race toward urbanization, India has only recently started imposing stricter pollution-control guidelines. At the Copenhagen convention in 2009, India had promised, among other things, to cut back on its emissions intensity (calculated as emissions per unit of GDP) by at least 20% by GDP year 2020. As per the report, between 2005 and 2010, India had managed to reduce its emissions intensity by 12%.

Gases that were considered in order to calculate the emission intensity of GDP are: Nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), sulfur hexafluoride, and Perfluorocarbons (PFCs). Prakash Javdekar, India’s environment, forest and climate change minister, said that India is on track to reducing its emissions intensity of GDP by 20% to 25% by 2020 – a voluntary target.

While the focus of the report lies on the years between 2005 and 2010, it also states that emissions in India rose from 1,301.2 mn tons in 2000 to 2,136 mn tons by 2010.

The concentration of carbon dioxide is seen to be the highest in emissions recorded from the country’s energy sector. Besides CO2, the other greenhouses gases that occur most prominently are: halogenated gases, methane, and nitrous oxide. The report notes that the maximum amount of GHGs in India comes from electricity production, transportation, manufacturing industries, and fugitive emissions.

India is among the top three GHG emitting countries in the world, a list topped by China. Having received much criticism for letting polluting industries enjoy a free rein, the Indian government is now taking steps to mitigate its GHG emissions. The country pledged to cut back its GHG emissions by 30% to 35% by 2030 at the Paris climate summit held in December 2015.


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