Emissions in India and six other countries top pre-Covid levels

Ahead of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP27, scheduled to occur in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh next month, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) said on Thursday that the world might fall short of targets. It has been Set out in the Paris Climate Agreement, adopted in 2015, and currently, no reliable route exists to reduce global warming to less than 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

The UNEP report released on Thursday, titled ‘Emissions Gap Report 2022: The Closing Window – Climate Crisis Calls for Rapid Transformation of Societies’, found that in India and six other top emitters, emissions have increased, and the pandemic increased after.

“The top seven emitters (China, EU27, India, Indonesia, Brazil, the Russian Federation and the United States) plus international transport accounted for 55 per cent of global GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in 2020. Collectively, G20 members account for 55 per cent of global GHG emissions. are responsible for 75 per cent of the cases,” the report said.

The global average per capita GHG emissions in 2020 was 6.3 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e). The US is well above this level at 14 tCO2e, followed by Russia at 13 tCO2e, China at 9.7 tCO2e, and Brazil and Indonesia at around 7.5 tCO2e. And the European Union at 7.2 tCO2e.

India is well below the world average of 2.4 tCO2e.

“For most major emitters, including China, India, the Russian Federation, Brazil and Indonesia, GHG emissions (excluding land use and forestry sectors) exceeded pre-pandemic 2019 levels in 2021,” the report said.

UNEP said the G20 countries are just beginning to work towards meeting their new targets and collectively are expected to fall short of their promises for 2030.

UNEP said, “Currently implemented policies, without further strengthening, suggest an increase of 2.8 °C … to meet the goal of the Paris Agreement to require the world to reduce greenhouse gases to unprecedented levels over the next eight years.”

The unconditional and conditional NDCs project that global emissions will be reduced by five and 10 per cent, respectively, in 2030, compared to emissions based on current policies. To go the least-cost way to limit global warming to 2 °C or 1.5 °C, these percentages must reach 30 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively. Emissions must decline rapidly beyond 2030 to avoid exhausting the remaining atmospheric carbon budget.

Aarti Khosla, Director of Climate Trends, said: “It is encouraging to note that India continues its continued momentum on renewable energy and is emerging on PV technology. However, it needs to switch to non-fossil power to meet its goals. Gotta double that.”

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