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India’s emission intensity reduced by 33 per cent between 2005 and 2019: Govt report

DUBAI: India reduced its GDP emission intensity by 33 per cent between 2005 and 2019, achieving the target 11 years in advance, according to a government report. The report also said India’s GDP grew at a cumulative annual growth rate of 7 per cent but its emissions rose by only 4 per cent per year during this period, suggesting that the country has been successful in decoupling its economic growth from planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.
The report called ‘The Third National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’ will be submitted to the UN climate change body during the ongoing climate talks in Dubai, officials said.
National communications contain information on a country’s greenhouse gas emissions, its vulnerability to climate change, and the measures any country is taking to mitigate emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said that India reduced its GDP emission intensity by 33 per cent between 2005 and 2019, achieving the target 11 years in advance. India created an additional carbon sink of 1.97 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent during this period.
However, the country’s total emissions (including the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry sector) have increased by 4.56 per cent with respect to 2016.
The emission intensity of the economy refers to the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted for every unit increase of gross domestic product (GDP). It is different from absolute emissions.
“We are well on track to achieve the target of reducing our GDP emissions intensity by 45 per cent by 2030, compared to the 2005 level, and of creation of additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3.0 billion tonnes through tree and forest cover by 2030,” the minister said.
Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs are any country’s national action plans to limit the earth’s average temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius and preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius as compared to the pre-industrial (19850-1900) levels.
Scientists say climate impacts like heat/cold waves, floods, cyclones, heavy rains, melting of glaciers and resulting sea level rise will be worse if the guardrail of 1.5 degrees Celsius is breached.
According to the third national communication, the energy sector accounted for the maximum share of anthropogenic emissions (75.81 per cent), followed by agriculture (13.44 per cent), Industrial Process and Product Use (8.41 per cent), and waste (2.34 per cent).
The LULUCF sector removed 4,85,472 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GgCO2e) of emissions.
Considering total emissions and removals, India’s net national emissions in 2019 were 26,46,556 GgCO2e (or 2.6 billion tonnes of CO2e).
India is among the 26 developing countries which have submitted their national communication based on the GHG (Greenhouse gases) inventory of 2019 or later years. China has submitted its latest communication with GHG inventory of 2014; Brazil of 2016; South Africa of 2017 and Saudi Arabia of 2012.
Pitching India as a global climate leader which has achieved its earlier NDC targets well ahead of schedule, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday proposed to host the annual UN climate talks in the country in 2028.
If India’s proposal to host the UN climate conference in 2028 or COP33 is accepted, it would be the next big global conference in the country after the G20 Summit earlier this year.
India hosted COP8 in New Delhi in 2002 but it was then a small event, unlike the glitzy affair it has become over the years.
Modi highlighted that India is home to 17 per cent of the world’s population, but its share of global carbon emissions is less than 4 per cent.
“India is one of the very few economies in the world that is on track to achieve its NDC targets,” he said.
India achieved its emissions intensity-related targets 11 years ahead of the committed time frame and non-fossil fuel targets nine years ahead of schedule.
The country aims to reduce GDP emission intensity by 45 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels and achieve 50 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030. It has also committed to become a net zero economy by 2070.
The prime minister also called out rich nations at COP28, saying a small section of humanity has indiscriminately exploited nature over the past century but the entire humanity is paying the price, especially people living in the Global South.
He said poor and developing nations bear disproportionate impacts of climate crisis despite contributing little to it.

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