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India's greenhouse gas emissions jump

delhi Updated: May 11, 2010 19:33 IST
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India's annual greenhouse gas emissions increased by 58 per cent from 1994-2007, driven by higher industrial activity, energy production and transport, government figures showed on Tuesday.

"Between 1994 and 2007, some of the sectors indicate significant growth in greenhouse gas emissions, such as cement production, electricity generation and transport," said a report released by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.

Total annual greenhouse gas emissions grew from 1.25 billion tonnes in 1994 to 1.90 billion tonnes in 2007, confirming India among the world's biggest emitters.

Despite the increase, "the emissions of the United States and China are almost four times that of India in 2007", Ramesh told reporters.

China and the United States are the world's top emitters of greenhouse gases and disagreement between the two on slashing their carbon dioxide output was a major cause of the failure of UN-sponsored climate change talks last year.

Ahead of a UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December last year, India offered to reduce its carbon intensity -- the amount of energy used per unit of gross domestic product -- by 20 to 25 per cent by 2020 compared to 2005 levels.

India's energy-intensive economy expanded rapidly between 1994-2007, lifting millions out of poverty and also boosting industrial and energy generation activities.

Most of India's electricity comes from coal-fired power stations that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

Developing nations have resisted a legally binding international treaty to cut greenhouse gases, arguing that wealthy nations bear primary responsibility for climate change.

Last week, Ramesh during a visit to China stated that there was little prospect of a breakthrough in efforts to forge an international agreement this year to fight global warming.

But he said that cooperation between India and China was one of the remarkable features of the Copenhagen conference.

Top climate change negotiators are to meet again in the Mexican resort of Cancun towards the end of the year to try to build on a vague accord hammered out at the talks in Copenhagen.