India and Climate Change
India signed and ratified the protocol in August, 2002. Since India is exempted from the framework of the treaty, it is expected to gain from the protocol in terms of transfer of technology and related foreign investments. All through it has been India’s arguement that the per-capita emission rates of the developing countries are a tiny fraction of those in the developed world. India maintains that the major responsibility of curbing emission rests with the developed countries, which have accumulated emissions over a long period of time. Just before the start of the Copenhagen climate change conference, India announced that it would reduce its carbon emissions intensity by 20 to 25 per cent by the year 2020 level, quantifying a low carbon growth strategy to combat climate change. India’s actions to reduce emissions intensity would be voluntary and unilateral. In this respect Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said the 20 to 25 per cent emissions intensity reduction would be achieved through mandatory fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, mandatory environment friendly building codes, and the introduction of clean coal technologies for power plants. Under these initiatives, automobiles manufacturers would have to specify kilometer per litre of fuel for all vehicles from 2012 onwards and municipal authorities would have to ensure that new buildings come equipped with energy savings designs or technologies. Half of the new coal power plants would also be based on clean technologies. Industries would also be encouraged to reduce energy intensity. India’s announcement follows China’s proclamation few days back that it would reduce its emissions intensity by 40 per cent by 2020, a move that bolstered the pressure on India to quantify its own actions. India has also made it clear that it would not accept legally binding emission cut targets and would not accept any time frame during which its emissions would peak
India and Climate Change: Few facts
- India is placed at the fifth spot in terms of emission of greenhouse gases in the world. In this respect, China, USA, European Union and Russia are placed at the first, second, third and fourth spot respectively.
- Annual carbon emission of India is between 1.2 to 1.4 billion tonne. India’s total greenhouse gas emission is between 1.6 to 1.8 billion tonne.
- India’s per capita annual emission is about 1.2 tonne. This is one-fourth of the global average, one-tenth emission of the developing world and one-third of the China.
- Between 1990 to 2004, annual average increase in emission of carbon dioxide is around 7%.
Position of China
Now China has surpassed the United States as the biggest emitter in the world of carbon dioxide. But on the per capita basis US is still ahead of China. According to a report China, GHG emissions have increased by 120% since the beginning of the decade, while US emissions have increased 16% over the same period. China now accounts for a fifth of global GHG emissions. In June 2007, China unveiled a climate change plan and promised to put climate change at the center of its energy policy. Just before the Copenhagen summit, China announced that it would reduce its emission intensity by 40 per cent by 2020.