Indian greenhouse gases emissions to triple

india-flag-sunsetThe Indian government announced it on last week and the news spread around the world as to their analyses the country’s greenhouse gases emissions are due to at least triple by the next twenty years.

One might think this is huge, but not that much as the country’s emissions are accounting for five percent of the total when its population accounts for 15 percent.

Indians still emit 20 time less per capita than Americans and six time less than French people. We have to cut our own anyway. One can see this large increase as another reason for fast action.

Here is an extended and improved version of my comment on CleanTechies as Ceylan noted that such a news could prevent some rich nations to cut their own emissions :

I don’t think the fact that India’s emissions are due to triple by 2030 should prevent us from working on decreasing our own. Quite the opposite as a matter of facts.

Let’s review the facts :
– America’s population : 300 million people (4.5 percent of 6.7 billion) account for between a quarter and a fifth of total GHG emissions.
– India’s population : 1 billion ( 15 percent of the total) account for 5 percent of total GHG emissions.

Do you think this is fair ? I don’t. If a population accounts for 15 percent of the total, its emissions should account for a similar share.

Here are some facts that keep me confident that this increase of GHG emissions may be inferior nonetheless :

  • The country is threatened in a most important way by the melting of the Himalayan snows as it is their rain tower (and China’s too, and many other countries as well). The government will understand and thus act, sooner or later.
  • How could India’s emissions rise ? With which fossil fuels ? We all know both oil and gas are due to become more expensive as they peak. Of course, India has coal, but the reserves won’t be enough. All this will be huge incentives for alternatives.
  • The huge amount of local engineers and scientists could find solutions to answer the country’s growing energy demand.

What do you think ?

[Image credit : Flickr, Matthieu Aubry]

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