India’s emissions among the lowest in the world
COP17 at Durban concluded with the adoption of Durban Platform that prepares the ground for adopting a new deal on climate change by 2015—applicable to all countries. Whatever be the legal form of this deal, countries such as India would be bound to commit to greenhouse gas emissions mitigation post 2020.
India’s emissions are among the lowest in the world relative to the emissions of the developed world and other emerging economies. But this aspect of India’s emissions is rarely portrayed. A recent report by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency held India and China responsible for rise in global emissions in 2010. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) analysed the report and found developed countries, legally bound to reduce emissions, have not done so.
Haven for rich countries
Developed countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol (KP) remain on target to meet the KP objective of a 5.2 per cent reduction, the report said. The fact is the rich developed countries are hiding behind the collapsed economy of the erstwhile USSR and eastern European countries to meet their Kyoto targets (see: Graph I). When the emissions of Annex I non-economies in transition (non-EIT) countries (rich developed), Annex I countries (EIT: erstwhile USSR and eastern Europe) and Annex I countries were compared, CSE found:
India blamed, US culprit
Global emissions increased by 5.8 per cent in 2010 over 2009, the report said. It blamed India and China for emitting 9 per cent and 10 per cent greenhouse gases in 2010 over the 2009 levels. But it did not say the US’s emissions increased by 4 per cent and EU’s by 3 per cent (see: Graph II). India’s 9 per cent increase is less than the US’s 4 per cent increase in absolute terms (see: Graph III). It is the same story for per capita emissions (see: Graph IV). US’s per capita emissions in 2010 was 16.9 tonnes; India’s was 1.51 tonnes. The per capita emissions between 2009 and 2010 increased by 0.5 tonnes in the US, 0.6 tonnes in Japan, 0.2 tonnes in EU-15, 0.6 tonnes in China and 0.2 tonnes in Russia. In comparison, India’s increase was 0.1 tonne.