India is among the fastest growing renewable energy countries in the world after China, Brazil and United States, said a UN report on green economy released on Wednesday.
“The investments in renewable energy in emerging economies have grown rapidly since 2005,” said United Nations Environment Programme flagship report before the meeting of global environment leaders on new green economy norms at Rio de Janeiro in June next year.
Investment from countries such as India, China and Brazil has increased by five times between 2005 and 2010 and it surpassed that of the developed countries in 2010.
“The total installed capacity of renewable of developing countries can be higher than that of the developed world,” the report said, adding that India, China and Brazil account for 90 percent of the new investments in the developing countries.
Overall, the investment for harnessing green energy through renewable increased from US $55 billion in 2005 to US $211 billion in 2010.
The report, which says governments are taking steps for inclusive low carbon economy, pointed out that India’s share of renewable in its total energy generation would rise from present 4.9 % to 6.2 percent by 2035. India can generate 10,000 MW of power from wind turbines and another 20,000 MW from solar power plants.
But, the UN report claims that India had not done well in adopting green norms in agriculture and said most of the farmer suicide cases are in areas under inorganic farming and where Genetically Modified crops are in use. “Organic farming in India has caused less stress,” the report said.
India’s bid to increase agriculture productivity through subsidies has done more harm than good to the environment.
“Experience is now showing that these (electricity) subsidies encourage farmers to pump much more water than otherwise would be the case and, as a result, water levels in 18 of Punjab’s 20 districts are falling rapidly,” the report said, adding that scrapping environmentally bad subsidies has not found political approval.
The report based on three year research also says adopting green norms could mean loss of jobs in sectors such as fisheries but new jobs will be created in low carbon growth sectors such as renewable and green agriculture.
But, the overall transition to a green economy would realize per capita incomes higher than under current economic models, while reducing the ecological footprint by nearly 50 per cent in 2050, as compared to business-as-usual, the report said.