2015’s largest increase in global CO2 emissions came from India

The 2016 edition of BP’s authoritative Statistical Review of World Energy offers a lot of startling statistics and revelations. According to the report, India’s energy consumption rose by 5.2% in 2015. At the same time, it’s global coal consumption exceeded 10% for the first time ever. While most major countries have minimized coal consumption, India’s has grown by 4.8%. For comparison’s sake, the US saw a decrease of just under 13% and China decreased by 1.5%. The additional CO2 India added to the atmosphere in 2014 (157MT) was greater than that added by the US in 2013 (155.T). The American economy is ten times as big as India’s and consumes nearly four times as much energy. The largest increase in global CO2 emissions – 5.3% – came from India, making it the world’s fastest-growing major polluter.

India is developing rapidly as urban areas, transportation systems, and energy infrastructure grow. On April 22nd, India signed the historic Paris Climate Agreement along with 170 other nations. It agreed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, and to limit global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030. The country has a national climate action plan, also known as its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), to simultaneously expand energy access and limit emissions. Within their INDC India agrees to promote clean energy. This includes:

  • Increases in wind energy to achieve a target of 60 GW installed capacity by 2022;
  • Increases in solar energy to enhance the capacity to 100GW by 2022;
  • Increases in biomass energy to increase a target of 10 GW by 2022 from current capacity of 4.4 GW;
  • Increases in nuclear power to achieve 63 GW installed capacity by 2032;
  • And the Green Energy Corridor project.

Other plans include efficient lighting which will save up to 100 billion kilowatt hours annually and the Standards and Labeling Program launched by the government to increase the energy efficiency of average refrigerators and/or air-conditioners. While India’s INDC goals are good, they will not be achieved through the current expansion of coal fired power plants.

Earth Day Network is engaging with partners all over the world to build and enhance the region’s civic mobilization and leadership in the environmental movement. Earth Day Network India is headquartered in Kolkata. We have organized many different Earth Day events and activities in villages and cities nationwide. Examples of what we have accomplished include our Green Cities initiative to encourage environmentalism across India, visiting local schools to engage youth, and tree plantings in both urban and rural areas. Earth Day Network India is important to our mission to broaden, diversify and spread our environmental movement all over the world.