'Carbon emission rose 22% in India between 2010-14'

'Carbon emission rose 22% in India between 2010-14'

Smoke rises from a factory chimney on the outskirts of Amritsar on Saturday.(AFP)

Between 2010 and 2014, India emitted 22% more carbon dioxide, riding high on its economic growth story, says a new report that India would be submitting to the United Nations.

Out of the total emissions, the energy sector, including electricity generation and transport, account for 73% followed by agriculture that contributes 16% of the carbon emissions.

The Biennial Update Report – approved by the Union Cabinet on Thursday – would be presented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as a fulfilment of India's reporting obligation under the convention.

India submitted its first such report in 2016 taking into account emission data up to 2010. The second report in 2018 is based on the data up to 2014. Between the two years, the difference is just under 500 million tonnes extra emission of carbon dioxide equivalent or 22% more than the 2010 emission.

Globally, India is one of the top emitters of greenhouse gases after USA and China. But in every international fora, New Delhi argues that India's per capita emission is far less than rich and industrialised nations and the emissions are required for economic growth that would take millions of people out of the poverty net.

“India's per capita emission is one-third of the global average. While China contributes 30% of the world's emission, India is not even 6%. Equity in climate justice is India's concern and India has to stand alone on that front,” said Environment Secretary C K Mishra.

But the rise in carbon emission is not the only story from the fresh report. It also shows a growth in forest areas that act as a carbon sink.

As a consequence, at least 300 million tonnes of carbon was sunk in Indian forests in 2014, an improvement from the 252 million tonnes that was absorbed in 2010.

India had already committed to source at least 40% of its electricity from non-fossil sources by 2030 as a part of its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) – a voluntary carbon emission reduction mechanism being implemented by the nations.

There is also a commitment to reduce emission intensity of GDP by 33-35% by 2030 from the 2005 level.

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