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India among biggest emitters of greenhouse gases: Study

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 09:55

Warsaw: India and China are among the world`s biggest contributors to fossil fuel emissions with India`s carbon dioxide discharge increasing by a whopping 7.7 per cent last year, a new study said today.

"Based on estimates of economic activity in 2013, emissions are set to rise 2.1 per cent in 2013 to reach 36 billion tonnes of CO2," the annual analysis by Global Carbon Project reported.

"The Global Carbon Budget reveals that the biggest contributors to fossil fuel emissions in 2012 were China (27 per cent), the United States (14 per cent), the European Union (10 per cent), and India (6 per cent)," the group of European scientists said.

Indian CO2 emissions increased by a whopping 7.7 per cent, with those from coal growing 10.2 per cent, said the report coinciding with the UN climate talks in Warsaw, the Polish capital.

The study, led by the UK`s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, said Carbon dioxide is the principal greenhouse gas, and fossil fuels - coal, oil and gas - along with cement production account for nearly all its man-made emissions.

China, the world`s number one carbon emitter, accounted for 70 per cent of the global increase in 2012. Chinese emissions grew 5.9 per cent in 2012, lower than the average of 7.9 per cent per year over the past decade. Consumption from renewable sources and hydropower in China grew by a quarter in 2012.

In the United States, the world`s No. 2 emitter, CO2 emissions fell by 3.7 per cent in 2012, with those from coal decreasing by 12 per cent as the country turned to cleaner shale gas.

Emissions by the 28-nation European Union (EU) fell by 1.3 per cent, but emissions from coal grew 3.0 per cent.

Per capita emission is one of the biggest issues in the climate-change arena.
Developing countries like India and China have said rich nations should bear most of the burden for warming, as they initiated the problem and their emissions per person are much higher than those of poorer economies.

The US is still the highest emitter per person at 16 tonnes. By comparison an Indian`s carbon footprint is only 1.8 tonnes.

"Emissions must fall substantially and rapidly if we are to limit global climate change to below two degrees," Corinne Le Quéré of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research said.

The targeted emission level rise of 2.1 per cent set for 2013 means burning of fossil fuels just 61 per cent above the 1990 levels, the baseline year for the Kyoto Protocol, the study said.

Cumulative CO2 emissions since 1870 is set to reach 2015 billion tonnes by 2013, with 70 per cent caused by burning fossil fuels and 30 per cent from deforestation and other land use changes.

First Published: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 09:53

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