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India’s Per Capita Greenhouse Gas Emissions Far Below World Average: UNEP Report

India remains far below the world average at 2.4 tCO2e. On average, least developed countries emit 2.3 tCO2e per capita annually, the report said

India's Per Capita Greenhouse Gas Emissions Far Below World Average: UNEP Report
The international community is still falling far short of the Paris goals to limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius in place: UNEP

New Delhi: At 2.4 tCO2e (tonne carbon dioxide equivalent), India’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions were far below the world average of 6.3 tCO2e in 2020, according to a new report released by the United Nations Environment Programme on Thursday (October 27). The “Emissions Gap Report 2022: The Closing Window”, released ahead of the UN Climate Change conference (COP27) in Egypt next month, also said the international community is still falling far short of the Paris goals, with no credible pathway to limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius in place. To address climate change, countries adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015 to limit global temperature rise in this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

Also Read: World Faces 2.8°C Rise After ‘Woefully Inadequate’ Climate Pledges, UN Says

“World average per capita GHG emissions (including land use, land-use change, and forestry — LULUCF) were 6.3 tCO2e in 2020. The US remains far above this level at 14 tCO2e, followed by 13 tCO2e in the Russian Federation, 9.7 tCO2e in China, about 7.5 tCO2e in Brazil and Indonesia, and 7.2 tCO2e in the European Union.”

“India remains far below the world average at 2.4 tCO2e. On average, least developed countries emit 2.3 tCO2e per capita annually,” the report said. Per capita emissions range widely across G20 members: emissions of India are about half of the G20 average, whereas Saudi Arabia reaches more than twice the G20, it said. India’s contribution to historical cumulative CO2 emissions (excluding LULUCF) is three per cent, whereas the US and the EU have contributed 25 per cent and 17 per cent respectively to total fossil CO2 emissions from 1850 to 2019.

China contributed 13 per cent, the Russian Federation seven per cent, and Indonesia and Brazil one per cent each. Least developed countries contributed only 0.5 per cent to historical CO2 fossil fuel and industry emissions between 1850 and 2019.

The report said despite a decision by all countries at the 2021 climate summit in Glasgow (UK) to strengthen nationally determined contribution (NDCs) and some updates from nations, progress has been “woefully inadequate”.

Also Read: Emperor Penguins Now A Threatened Species Due To Climate Change, U.S. Says

NDCs means national plans and pledges made by countries to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

NDCs submitted this year take only 0.5 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent, less than one per cent, off the projected global emissions in 2030. Unconditional NDCs are estimated to give a 66 per cent chance of limiting global warming to about 2.6 degrees Celsius over the century. For conditional NDCs, those that are dependent on external support, this figure is reduced to 2.4 degrees Celsius, it said. Current policies alone would lead to a 2.8 degrees Celsius hike, highlighting the temperature implications of the gap between promises and action, it said.

In the best-case scenario, full implementation of unconditional NDCs and additional net-zero emissions commitments point to only a 1.8 degrees Celsius increase. However, this scenario is not currently credible based on the discrepancy between current emissions, short-term NDC targets and long-term net-zero targets.

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP said,

This report tells us in cold scientific terms what nature has been telling us, all year, through deadly floods, storms and raging fires: we have to stop filling our atmosphere with greenhouse gases, and stop doing it fast.

Also Read: Heat-Related Deaths Up By 68 Per Cent Between 2000-04 And 2017-21: Lancet Report

“We had our chance to make incremental changes, but that time is over. Only a root-and-branch transformation of our economies and societies can save us from accelerating climate disaster,” Inger Andersen said.

To meet the Paris Agreement goals, the world needs to reduce greenhouse gases by unprecedented levels over the next eight years.

Unconditional and conditional NDCs are estimated to reduce global emissions in 2030 by five and 10 per cent respectively, compared with emissions based on policies currently in place. To get on a least-cost pathway to holding global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius, emissions must fall by 45 per cent over those envisaged under current policies by 2030. For the two degrees Celsius target, a 30 per cent cut is needed, it said.

Also Read: COP27: World On Track To Increase Emissions By 10.6% By 2030, States UN Report

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diarrhoea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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