India has vowed to cut down on its growing emission intensity of its GDP in its global climate action pledges. But the country’s carbon footprints continues to grow with energy sector being the largest contributor.
India recently submitted its second ‘Biennial Update Report’ (BUR) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). According to the report, India has emitted 2.607 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of GHG in 2014 when its energy sector polluted 73% of total emission followed by agriculture (16%), industries (8%) and waste (3%).
In its first BUR, submitted in January 2016, which had the national greenhouse gas inventory of the country for the year 2010 when India had emitted 2.136 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of the greenhouse gases.
The emissions in India has steadily increased from 2010 to 2014. It’s among the top four current emitters in the world after China, USA and EU. But on the brighter side, India’s per capita GHG emission remained nearly one-third of the global average.
India’s compounded annual growth rate of emission between 2010 and 2014 was merely 5% and its annual emission is one-fourth of China’s emissions and half of that of the US’s. So, India is well on its path to meet its goal under the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Under its Copenhagen commitments, India made a voluntary pledge in 2010 to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP by 20-25% from 2005 levels by 2020 (excluding emissions from agriculture). Later in 2015, the country submitted its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, committing to reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35% from 2005 levels by 2030.
“As a responsible country, India has been making efforts and is well on track to meet its Copenhagen commitments. However, to meet its Paris commitments, in a timely manner, India requires enhanced new, additional and climate specific financial, technological and capacity building support,” wrote India’s environment secretary, C K Mishra, in preface of the BUR-II.
As per India’s second BUR, about 12% of the country’s emission were offset by the carbon sink action of forests, cropland and settlements.
After approving the BUR for submission, the government on Friday said the Report had been prepared based on a range of studies conducted at the national level. It had also undergone a multi-tier review process, through peer review, review by Technical Advisory Committee of Experts and by National Steering Committee (an inter-ministerial body).