In a span of 16 years, India’s climate change causing green house gas emissions have increased by 58 per cent and the biggest contributor has been coal fired power sector, a government report released on Tuesday said.
The footprint of India’s growth story was visible with emissions increasing to 1.7 billion tonnes in 2007 from 1.2 billion tonnes in 1994, confirming India being among the world’s five biggest carbon polluters.
China is the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gases blamed for heating up the planet. The United States is second.
The amount of carbon emissions India added to the atmosphere between 1994 and 2007 was equal to what Australia emits every year. That meant that India’s per capita emission remained 10 times less than Australia that was 1.5 tonnes per person.
“India is still not using its emission space,” Planning Commission Deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia said. “Cut off is two tonnes per capita and we a still below that.”
Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh said the study would be used in the global climate negotiations to propagate India’s stand of global treaty based on per capita.
Thank half of rural India without electricity for low per capita as the study ‘Green House Gas Emissions 2007’ suggested that the emissions transport sector (mostly in urban areas) and growing electricity demand (in urban area) has increased the most.
The power sector accounted for 719.30 million tonnes of emissions against 355.03 million tonnes in 1994, while the transport sector’s share jumped to 142.04 million tonnes from 80.28 million tonnes during the same period.
Even though India’s agriculture production has increased, the study, described by the Ramesh as “most updated in the world”, said its share in total emissions dipped by around 10 per cent.
Of the total emissions in 2007, 74 per cent was carbon dioxide, 22 per cent was methane, which caused climate change 21 times more than and remaining was nitrogen dioxide.
While unveiling the report, Ramesh said India would launch a satellite to monitor carbon emissions by 2013.
“We have already spoken to Indian Space Research Organisation in this regard,” he said.