India has improved its climate policy significantly, a new report showed on Tuesday, which may blunt international criticism at the Paris climate conference on the country’s coal dependence to meet its energy needs.
Many of the world’s richest nations and major players at the summit -- like the United States, China, Saudi Arabia and South Africa -- fared worse than India and were ranked as low-performing countries on the index of the top 50 carbon emitters of the world.
“India did better on climate policy, mainly on account of new focus on renewable and efficiency,” said Wendon Trio, director of the Climate Action Network Europe, at the release of the report by the NGO Germanwatch.
India has announced an ambitious 175 GW target for renewable energy by 2022 and 40% of energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also launched a global solar alliance at the start of the Paris climate summit this month.
The focus on renewable sources helped India get an overall score of 58.19 out of 100, but dependence on coal earned it the lowest ranking on emissions growth. India is now the world’s third biggest carbon emitter after China and the United States and is expected to take the second slot by 2030.
The rankings were made public a day after an international report said emissions in 2015 were expected to fall compared to previous years.
The Germanwatch data set off a debate on high emissions from the developed nations and their insignificant focus on low-carbon growth.
Many of the high emitters have blocked the talks, with Saudi Arabia stonewalling discussions on behalf of West Asia as the future of the region’s oil economy is in danger.
The United States and Europe are not very keen on a liability clause in the loss and damage mechanism for affluent nations to provide compensation to vulnerable countries.
Although the rankings showed most developing countries have improved their climate policies in the past year, Oxfam executive director Helen Szoke said these nations are at risk of being squeezed out of critical negotiations on climate funding with the pace of the talks picking up.