Big reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will hurt GDP

New Delhi, May 28 | Updated: May 29 2007, 05:30am hrs
The ministry of environment on Monday ruled out setting up any target for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as any substantial reduction is likely to adversely affect the countrys gross domestic production (GDP).

Though India is among the top six contributors in greenhouse gas emission, our per capita emission is substantially low compared to other developed countries. Besides, any sudden reduction in greenhouse emission level is likely to hurt GDP growth rate, said environment secretary Pradipto Ghosh.

However, he added that efforts would be on to improve the situation.

India is neither a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions nor will it be so in the foreseeable future, he added.

The announcement assumes significance as an expert committee on climate change has been formed recently by the ministry of environment and forest (MoEF).

The committee will study the impact of human-induced climate change in India and will then suggest measures to be taken in the future to address the impact of such climate changes. The nine-member committee is headed by R Chidambaram, principal scientific adviser to the Centre.

The environment secretary also said the primary energy growth rate in India is only 2.5%, while the GDP growth rate is over 8%.

This is remarkable as in no other countries, the primary energy consumption is so low as compared to a brisk GDP growth rate.

Currently, India is spending 2.17% of its GDP on climate changes and no other developing country contributes such a high percentage on climate change. Various energy conservation programmes have been taken up vigorously by the ministry and steel, cement and aluminum sectors have shown tremendous improvement in energy efficiency.