India’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission in 2010 was more than 2,000 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent with the energy sector being the prime contributor, the first Biennial Update Report (BUR) submitted by India to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said.
India submitted the report to the UNFCCC to fulfill its reporting obligation under the convention. As per the provisions of the convention, countries need to periodically provide information in the form of their national communication.
The BUR said India’s per capita GHG emission in 2010 was 1.56 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, which is less than one-third of the world’s per capita emissions and far below that of many developed and developing countries.
“As per the BUR, India emitted 2,136.84 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases in 2010. Energy sector was the prime contributor with 71 per cent of total emissions in 2010,” a Ministry of Environment and Forests statement said.
The energy sector includes – electricity production, fuel combustion in industries, transport and fugitive emissions.
While industrial processes and product use contributed eight per cent, agriculture and waste sectors contributed 18 per cent and three per cent, respectively, to the national GHG inventory.
According to the BUR report, “a reduction of emission intensity of GDP by about 12 per cent between 2005 and 2010 has been achieved against our voluntary pledge to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP by 20â€“25 per cent by 2020, compared with the 2005 level.”
“Around 12 per cent of emissions were offset by carbon sink action of forests and croplands, considering which the national GHG emissions are arrived at a total of 1,884.31 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent,” the statement said.
The BUR contains national GHG inventory of India for the year 2010, prepared in accordance with the guidelines of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The inventory covers six greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).
It also has five categories – energy, industrial processes and product use (IPPU), agriculture, waste and land-use, land-use and change and forestry (LULUCF).
As per UNFCCC rules, BURs are subjected to an international process known as International Consultation and Analysis (ICA), a process that includes international scrutiny of BUR in a manner that is “non-intrusive, non-punitive and respectful of national sovereignty”.
As on January 13, 23 countries apart from India, including Brazil, South Africa, South Korea have submitted their BURs whereas China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases is yet to submit it.
India’s BUR has been prepared by the Environment Ministry under its NATCOM project funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) through UNDP.
Several studies were carried out by 17 national-level institutions, including Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratories, organizations under the Ministry, premier educational institutions NGOs, and others involving more than 60 researchers.
Inputs from from various ministries, government departments and independent experts were also taken while it also underwent a “multitier” review process after which it was approved by the Union Cabinet.
BUR showcases a range of climate-friendly measures initiated through eight national missions under National Action Plan on Climate Change and other programs such as Integrated Power Development Scheme, Renewable Purchase Obligations, enhancement of cess on coal, Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) Scheme and National Program for LED based lighting.
It also has different sections elaborating various aspects on climate change in the country, such as institutional arrangements to implement the reporting process, national circumstances in which country is responding to climate change, national greenhouse gas inventory for 2010 and initiatives of the government to tackle the problem of climate change amongst others.
India had submitted its first national communication in 2004 and second national communication in 2012.