|India, being a developing country, is not obligated by the UNFCCC to commit to reduce its emissions by any
level. The per capita carbon emission in India is as low as 1.1 tonnes per year, as opposed to 19.6 tons per
capita in the USA. Even by developing country standards, Indian emissions are still lower than China at 4
tons and Brazil at 2.5 tonnes.
However, India's commitment to combating climate change has been demonstrated by its willing
ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, and in its acknowledged leadership in the Asia Pacific Climate
Partnership, a coalition of six countries in the Asia Pacific region (India, China, South Korea, Japan,
Australia, US) looking for alternative emission reductions beyond the Kyoto Protocol. There are several
initiatives in India striving for reducing carbon emissions, mainstreaming renewable energy technologies
and funding carbon sequestration initiatives.
Numerous electricity generation and regulation utilities across India are starting to rely more on
hydropower and renewable energy. Renewable energy sources together contribute 7.6% of India's energy
supply with 10,175 MW of installed capacity. Hydel power generation is comparatively less polluting than
thermal power generation, and is also economical as operational expenses are virtually eliminated, and
can operate at near maximum installed capacity.
Our national energy policy also lays emphasis on the need for increasing the utilization of clean and
renewable energy, with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (formerly the Ministry of Non
conventional Energy Sources), actively exploring renewable energy options. IREDA, the Indian Renewable
Energy Development Agency, is charged with the responsibility of providing loans for new and renewable
energies. IREDA has played a key role in the development of renewable energy in India by assisting in the
up gradation of available technologies and by extending financial support to energy efficiency and
conservation projects. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has also embarked on an ambitious scheme
of labeling products with stars on the basis of their level of energy efficiency. This scheme is expected to
serve as an incentive for manufacturers.
India emerged as one of the five largest wind power-generating countries in the world, with nearly 7,000MW of installed capacity. Wind energy is currently the fastest growing renewable energy sector in India.
Nuclear power, which has the potential to meet our energy requirements and the advantage of being nonpolluting,
is also progressing fast in India. Nuclear power now accounts for 3.1% of our energy supply, with
4,120 MW of installed capacity. The private sector is actively participating in developing and diversifying
wind energy in India, along with other renewable energies. Private entities are now responsible for
generating around 13% of total electricity generation in India, with 18,418 MW of installed power
In transportation, CNG and biofuels, which have low carbon content, have entered the mainstream in a
few cities. The public transportation agencies in several cities have already shifted entirely to or are
experimenting with CNG as a replacement for diesel. With suppliers expanding their network across the
country, CNG has also become viable for taxis, autos, and private vehicles. Biofuels are also being
experimented in varying stages, with biodiesel being introduced in proportions in buses and train
The industrial sector is also beginning to reduce its emissions. There are strict emission and flue gas
treatment standards for most categories of industries, especially those consuming coal as fuel. The NTPC
has mandated the installation of Electrostatic Precipitators (ESPs) in most of their thermal power stations
to contain fly ash from vented flue gases. Industries are encouraged to have their own captive power
plants to satisfy their in-house energy requirements and offset the burden on national energy generation.
Many cement and power generation industries are also in the process of switching to cleaner fuels and
emission reduction mechanisms, which result in reduction of emissions and are therefore entitled to
financing under the CDM scheme. The industrial sector in Andhra Pradesh is emerging as a pioneer in
mainstreaming clean fuel technologies, especially for industrial power. Bagasse generated from
sugarcane pulp and biomass are gaining popularity in the state for power generation up to 50 MW,
satisfying local power requirements.
India is actively reforesting vast areas of wasteland and deforested forestland under the National
Afforestation and Biodiversity Programme. An increased land area will lead to greater capture of carbon
dioxide from vegetation. India is also entitled to apply for reforestation projects under the Clean
Development Mechanism, where India gets financed to grow forests on wasteland and degraded
forestland, and the financing country receives carbon credits from the Kyoto Protocol. Currently, a large
number of CDM projects in India are allocated to the energy sector through mitigation processes such as
efficiency, renewable energy, fuel switching etc, but practically none in the area of forestry. This is
therefore a potentially large and feasible area where India can receive finances and technology for
developing its forest areas, while mitigating emissions.
Environmentally safe and friendly waste management can substantially curtail emissions. Though landfills
and open dumping of municipal waste is still prevalent in India, electric incinerators, which completely
contain and burn waste and prevent emissions, are being installed in a phased manner in several states.
Once this technology is fully adapted to Indian conditions, it will greatly minimize GHG emissions from
municipal waste disposal and burning.