A proposal to fix India’s peak year for carbon emissions between 2030 and 2050 is likely to be discussed during talks to broker a climate deal set to be announced during President Barack Obama’s Republic Day visit. Carbon emissions of a country grow till the ‘peaking year’, when levels are highest, and decrease thereafter.
India is currently the world’s fourth-biggest polluter with China leading the pack, followed by the US and the European Union. India is under pressure from the global community to announce a peaking year after its ally in climate talks China declared last month that its emissions will top off in 2030.
New Delhi, however, wants to grow to Beijing’s levels before capping off its carbon emissions, not possible before 2035. India’s decision will also depend on what Washington offers on climate finance – used to compensate developing nations for cutting emissions – and other issues. Preliminary findings of a recent environment ministry study indicated India’s per-capita carbon emissions in 2050 would be about 13 tonnes —- the same as that of China in its peaking year, 2030. This would mean a seven-fold increase in the country’s per-capita emissions compared to 2012 when emissions per person touched 1.9 tonnes, four times less than China’s 7.2 tonnes the same year.