Emissions from G20 nations continue undeterred, India among few countries on track to meet 2030 targets

Greenhouse gas emissions from India have increased, almost doubled, in the past 25 years, but still below the G20 average.


In a progress report of how the world's top 20 economies nations are doing along the road to meet the guidelines set by the Paris Agreement, it seems none of the G20 nations have their emission levels low enough to meet the 2030 targets. Greenhouse gas emissions from India have increased, almost doubled, in the past 25 years, but are still below the G20 average, as per the climate change study. India's emission target appears to be the most ambitious, and closest to the 1.5-degree Celsius limit, the report adds.

The G20 Brown to Green Report 2018 is an annual review — a stock-taking report — of the G20 nations' commitment to climate action. It is largely a compilation of data to "assess the collective progress" towards the Paris Agreement's agreed goals.

Emissions from G20 nations continue undeterred, India among few countries on track to meet 2030 targets

Industries are one of several players that the tax is applicable for.

The report factors in both greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and decarbonisation measure taken by the G20 nations in areas like energy use, emission intensity or forest loss — both of which are sectors where urgent action is necessary. But apart from establishing the status quo, the indicators have no predictive value.

Of the various emissions that are contributing to global temperature rise and a greenhouse effect — carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, fluorinated gases, and water vapour — carbon dioxide is the largest contributor.

Number of countries that have reached/are reaching their peak emissions by decade. Data: WRI/IEA

Number of countries that have reached/are reaching their peak emissions by decade. Data: WRI/IEA

In India, these emissions have more than tripled since 1990. The share of fossil fuels in India’s energy mix has only increased based on recent figures, which reflects a trend away from traditional biomass-burning for energy. While this is a good thing, the speed of the nation's transition to cleaner, renewable energy sources is still far from optimal.

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"India has one of the G20’s highest growth rates in energy use per capita (15 percent) between 2012 and 2017, but still the lowest level in the G20," the report reads. Experts have ranked India a "medium" on its national policy framework to address climate change, acknowledging that it has expanded a fair bit of renewable energy capacity in 2018.

That said, the report also highlights that targets to expand the sector even further are not enough. Specifically, they suggest that India's policies lack enough focus on curbing fossil fuel use or the emissions resulting from it. The global scenario isn't vastly different, with 82 percent of the energy supply in the world's 20 largest economies still coming from fossil fuels.

Also read: Can India rise to meet Greta Thunberg’s concerns on the issue of climate change?

Also read: Red deers are evolving to give birth earlier because of warming climate

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