India GHG emission intensity declines by over 30%

India`s greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP has declined by over 30% during 1994-2007.

New Delhi: India`s greenhouse gas
emissions per unit of GDP declined by more than 30 per cent
during 1994-2007, according to official data released on Tuesday,
underlining the country`s commitment to fight climate change.

"This is due to efforts and policies that we are
proactively putting in place. This is the trend we plan to
continue," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said here after
Deputy Planning Commission Chairman Montek Singh Ahulwalia
released a report on India`s Greenhouse Gas Emission (GHG).

At the Copenhagen Summit in December, India had
announced its intent to further reduce the emission intensity
of GDP by 20-25 per cent between 2005 and 2020 even as it
pursues the path of inclusive growth.

However, according to the report, India`s overall
greenhouse gas emissions grew 58 per cent between 1994 and
2007. But its per capital emissions were still much less than
those of United States or European Union members.

Emissions rose to 1.9 billion tonnes in 2007 versus
1.2 billion in 1994, with the energy, industrial, agriculture
and transport sectors upping their share in the Asia`s third
largest economy.

Against 1.5 tons of CO2 per capita in 1994, the per
capita GHG emission was estimated to be 1.7 tons of CO2 in

A sectoral comparison of the emissions in 2004 and
2007 shows that the compounded annual growth rates have been
5.6 per cent (electricity generation), 6.0 per cent (cement)
and 7.3 per cent (waste), says the report.

India is the first among Non-Annex I or developing
countries to publish such updated number after 1994 when it
had released the data for submission to the UN.

It has been prepared by Indian Network of Climate
Change Assessment (INCCA), a project involving more than 80
scientists from 17 institutions across the country.

The government has plans to bring out next INCCA
report on assessment of the impacts of climate change on four
sectors namely Water, Western Ghats, Northeast and Coastal
India to be released in November next year.

"We are not bound by any international obligations.
Many of our domestic climate actions have to be taken
voluntarily in our own interest," said Ramesh, who also
stressed on benchmarking the emission norms of the domestic
industries with the international level.

Ahulwalia dispelled apprehensions that economic
growth target will be compromised due to climate change steps
saying the country can leapfrog and adopt clean technologies.