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India’s Position on Climate Change

  • India emitted 2,136.84 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases in 2010.
  • The energy sector was the prime contributor to emissions and with 71% of total emissions in 2010. Energy sector includes - electricity production, fuel combustion in industries, transport and fugitive emissions.
  • Industrial processes and product use contributed 8%; agriculture and waste sectors contributed 18% and 3% respectively to the national GHG inventory.
  • About 12% of emissions were offset by carbon sink action of forests and croplands, considering which the national GHG emissions arrived at a total of 1,884.31 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
  • India’s per capita GHG emission in 2010 was 1.56 t CO2 equivalent, which is less than one- third of the world’s per capita emissions and far below than many developed and developing countries.
  • A reduction of emission intensity of GDP by about 12% between 2005 and 2010 has been achieved against our voluntary pledge to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP by 20–25 per cent by 2020, compared with the 2005 level.
  • India will continue to be a low-carbon economy (World Bank study).
  • India’s primary focus is on “adaptation”, with specific focus for “mitigation”.
  • India has already unveiled a comprehensive National Action Plan on Climate Change whose activities are in the public domain.
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FAQs on India And Climate Change - Environment for UPSC CSE

1. What is India's position on climate change?
Ans. India acknowledges the urgency and importance of addressing climate change and is committed to taking action to mitigate its impacts. As a developing country, India emphasizes the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, which means that developed countries should take greater responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. India has set ambitious targets for renewable energy generation and has been actively participating in international climate change negotiations.
2. What actions has India taken to combat climate change?
Ans. India has taken several measures to combat climate change. It has set a target of achieving 40% of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. The country has also launched the International Solar Alliance, which aims to promote solar energy adoption globally. Additionally, India has implemented various policies and initiatives to promote energy efficiency, increase forest cover, and reduce emissions from industries and transport sectors.
3. How does India contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions?
Ans. As one of the world's largest economies and the second most populous country, India does contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions. However, its per capita emissions are lower compared to many developed countries. The major contributors to India's emissions include the energy sector, particularly coal-fired power plants, industrial processes, and agriculture. India is taking steps to reduce its emissions by promoting renewable energy and adopting cleaner technologies.
4. What challenges does India face in tackling climate change?
Ans. India faces several challenges in tackling climate change. The country's high population and growing energy demands pose difficulties in transitioning to clean energy sources. Economic constraints and the need for development also make it challenging to balance climate action with other priorities. Additionally, India is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as increased frequency of extreme weather events and sea-level rise, which further complicate adaptation efforts.
5. How does India participate in international climate change negotiations?
Ans. India actively participates in international climate change negotiations. It is a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement. India has consistently advocated for the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities in these negotiations, emphasizing the need for developed countries to support developing countries in their climate actions. India also engages in various forums and platforms to share its experiences, contribute to technology transfer, and seek international cooperation in addressing climate change.
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