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India's per capita emissions less than half of global average in 2022, US tops the list: Report

The US is also the biggest CO2 emitter since the Industrial Revolution. Over the entire period 1850–2022, the US' cumulative emissions amounted to 115 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (Gt C) (24 per cent of the world total), the EU's to 80 Gt C (17 per cent) and China's to 70 Gt C (15 per cent).

Ajeet Kumar Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Dubai Published on: December 05, 2023 19:11 IST
Indian pollution ranking
Image Source : PIXABAY Represenatational Image

India's per capita carbon dioxide emissions rose by around five per cent in 2022 to reach 2 tonnes but these were still less than half of the global average, according to a report released in Dubai on Tuesday. According to the Global Carbon Project, a group of international scientists, the United States topped the per capita emissions chart with every individual in the country emitting 14.9 tonnes of CO2 (carbon dioxide), followed by Russia (11.4), Japan (8.5), China (8), and the European Union (6.2). The global average stood at 4.7 tonnes. 

The US is also the biggest CO2 emitter since the Industrial Revolution. Over the entire period 1850–2022, the US' cumulative emissions amounted to 115 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (Gt C) (24 per cent of the world total), the EU's to 80 Gt C (17 per cent) and China's to 70 Gt C (15 per cent). 

Where does India stand in carbon emission data

India has emitted 15 Gt C since 1850 which is just 3 per cent of the world's total. The data provided by the Global Carbon Project shows India's per capita emissions grew by 5.1 per cent in 2022 to reach 2 tonnes. The scientists, however, said India was the third biggest CO2 emitter (8 per cent of world total) in 2022 after China (31 per cent) and the US (14 per cent).

The EU accounted for 7 per cent of the global emissions last year, Russia 4 per cent, and Japan 3 per cent. India's total emissions are estimated to have increased by 8.2 per cent (range 6.7 per cent to 9.7 per cent) over 2022, with rises in emissions from coal (9.5 per cent), oil (5.3 per cent), natural gas (5.6 per cent), and cement (8.8 per cent), they said. Coal growth is largely driven by high growth in demand for power, with new renewables capacity far from sufficient to meet this growth, the scientists claimed. CO2 emissions in China are estimated to have increased 4 per cent in 2023. These declined in the EU by 7.4 per cent, and the US by 3 per cent. By the end of the year, the world would have pumped 36.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (1.1 per cent more than last year) into the atmosphere. 

This increase was reported amid the global climate talks in Dubai, where countries are trying to chart a definite course to cut emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, a guardrail to avoid further worsening of climate impacts. The research team included the University of Exeter, the University of East Anglia (UEA), CICERO Center for International Climate Research, Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich and 90 other institutions around the world.

Impact of carbon emission

“The impacts of climate change are evident all around us, but action to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels remains painfully slow,” said Professor Pierre Friedlingstein, of Exeter’s Global Systems Institute, who led the study.

“It now looks inevitable we will overshoot the 1.5 degrees-Celsius target of the Paris Agreement, and leaders meeting at COP28 will have to agree to rapid cuts in fossil fuel emissions even to keep the 2 degrees-Celsius target alive,” Friedlingstein said. At the current emissions level, the Global Carbon Budget team estimates a 50 per cent chance global warming will exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius consistently in about seven years.

Professor Corinne Le Quere, Royal Society Research Professor at UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences said, “The latest CO2 data shows that current efforts are not profound or widespread enough to put global emissions on a downward trajectory towards Net Zero, but some trends in emissions are beginning to budge, showing climate policies can be effective. “All countries need to decarbonise their economies faster than they are at present to avoid the worst impacts of climate change." 

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: COP28: PM Modi launches web portal of Green Credits Programme in Dubai | WATCH

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