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UN emission data inflated

india Updated: Sep 03, 2009 02:06 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
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India’s per capita green house gas (GHG) emissions will rise to 4 tonnes from the present level of 1.2 tonnes by 2030 but would still be half of the average per capita emission of 30 of the world’s rich countries in 2005 (see graphic).

Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh released the findings of five different studies projecting India’s GHG growth trajectory for 2030 on Wednesday, the day the United Nations released its annual World Economic and Social Survey.

The UN survey said battling global warming cannot be achieved without “eventual emission reductions from the developing nations” such as India.

“Climate change represents a global challenge whose impact can be addressed only through open, inclusive and frank dialogue,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, in the report’s preface.

The climate change negotiations expected to culminate in Copenhegan in December have been bumpy, with developing countries unwilling to accept any emission reduction targets. “India and China (two big global GHG emitters) have categorically rejected ...accepting emission reduction targets,” Ramesh, who returned from China last week, said.

To combat Western propaganda that India’s GHG emission would rise manifold by 2030, the government came out with its first projection in a report, India’s GHG Emissions Profile. “India’s estimated per capita GHG emissions in 2030-31 will stay below 4 tonnes,” the report said. The projection is based on the findings of five different organisations on India’s estimated GHG emissions.

The findings are based on the assumption that India’s economy will grow at 9 per cent in the next couple of years and would fall to 8.5 per cent by 2030 and that the country’s energy intensity will fall by half during this period.

Energy intensity is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air for generation of a unit of energy.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia explained that late economic development has provided India an opportunity to adopt clean technologies. “Our energy intensity is among the lowest in the world and we would improve on this through sustained economic growth,” he said.

The UN study said achieving a low carbon economy hinges on the creation of a new global deal capable of channeling resources towards lowering the carbon content of economic activity.