Time Bomb Ticking

Time Bomb Ticking

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According to the report entitled: Statistics Related to Climate Change-India 2015, prepared by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, please click here to access:

• India's share of CO2 in the total emissions in the world is very insignificant in per capita terms. The per capita emission of an Indian citizen is 1.2 tons of CO2 whereas his counterpart in USA contributes 20.6 tons, as per UNDP Human Development Report 2007/2008. The per capita emissions of UK and Japan are 8 times and of USA 17 times higher than that of India. India's contribution to the world total is only 4.6 percent when compared to USA's contribution of 20.9 percent followed by 17.3 percent of China.

• While the per capita emissions of many developed countries vary between 7 to 15 metric tonnes, the per capita emissions in India were only about 1.56 metric tonnes in 2010.

• India accounts for 2.4 percent of the world surface area, but supports around 17.5 percent of the world population. It houses the largest proportion of global poor (30 percent), around 24 percent of the global population without access to electricity (304 million), about 30 percent of the global population relying on solid biomass for cooking and 92 million without access to safe drinking water. The average annual energy consumption in India in 2011 was only 0.6 tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) per capita as compared to global average of 1.88 toe per capita.

• Around 363 million people (30 percent of the population) live in poverty, about 1.77 million people are houseless and 4.9 percent of the population (aged 15 years and above) are unemployed. The per capita electricity consumption stands low at 917 kWh, which is barely one third of the world's average consumption.

• The energy sector is the major producer of CO2. Nearly 58.6 percent of India's energy needs are met from coal, which is abundant, locally available and cheap when compared to alternative fuels. As per Central Electricity Authority CO2 Baseline Database for the Indian Power Sector, CO2 emissions in the power sector are continuously increasing in all parts of the country.

• In India, the methane emissions in the year 1994 were 18,583 Gg, (Giga gram) out of which 78 percent came from agriculture, 16 percent from energy sources and 6 percent from waste disposal.

• The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) estimates that 77 percent to 68 percent of the forest areas in the country are likely to experience shift in forest types by the end of the 21st century, which needs our immediate attention.

• The number of vehicles registered in India is on the increase over the last 7 years at an average annual cumulative rate of 10 percent (data from 2004 to 2011). It indicates the increases in the use of fossil fuel and thereby an increase in GHG emissions.

• In India, an increase in the linear trend of about 0.4 degree C in the surface air temperature has been observed in the past century. A warming trend is visible along the west coast, central India, interior peninsula and the North-Eastern India, but some cooling trends are also visible in the North-West India and parts of South-India (NAPCC, 2008).

• A trend of about 10 percent to 12 percent (of the normal) increase in monsoon rains were reported along the west coast, northern Andhra Pradesh and north-western India during the last century. A decreasing trend of about 6 percent to 8 percent is observed over the last 100 years over eastern Madhya Pradesh, North-Eastern India and some parts of Gujarat and Kerala (NAPCC, 2008).

• Food production in India is sensitive to climate change like variations in temperature and monsoon rainfall. Rise in temperature has a direct impact on the rabi crop and every 1 degree C rise will reduce wheat production by 4 to 5 million tons. Every small change in temperature and rainfall has significant effect on the quality and quantity of fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, basmati rice and aromatic and medicinal plants. It is predicted that a loss of 10 percent to 40 percent in production may occur by 2100 due to climate change (NAPCC).

• There has been a reduction in the number of known species in India of 'fern & fernallics' from 1200 to 1135 during the reference period 2001-2007.

• India has the largest cattle and buffalo population in the world of about 300 million, which faces multiple challenges including diseases, inadequate supply of fodder etc. as a result of changing climate.

• Rapid urbanization in the country will be one of the most dominant trends in the coming years. It is expected that about 40 percent of the population in 2030 would be urban as against 30 percent currently. As population expands and incomes grow, this shift will likely be realized alongside demographic changes that will exponentially increase the demand for urban amenities like housing, energy, transport, water, waste disposal. It is estimated that more than half of India of 2030 is yet to be built. In a way, India's development process is doubly challenging. It not only has to complete the current unfinished development agenda, it has to strategise for future pressures that may increase the magnitude of this development gap.

• In recognition of the growing problem of Climate Change, India declared a voluntary goal of reducing the emissions intensity of its GDP by 20–25 percent, over 2005 levels, by 2020, despite having no binding mitigation obligations as per the Convention. A slew of policy measures were launched to achieve this goal. As a result, the emission intensity of our GDP has decreased by 12 percent between 2005 and 2010. It is a matter of satisfaction that United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in its Emission Gap Report 2014 has recognized India as one of the countries on course to achieving its voluntary goal.

• Preliminary estimates indicate that India would need around USD 206 billion (at 2014-15 prices) between 2015 and 2030 for implementing adaptation actions in agriculture, forestry, fisheries infrastructure, water resources and ecosystems.

• An Asian Development Bank study on assessing the costs of climate change adaptation in South Asia indicates that approximate adaptation cost for India in energy sector alone would roughly be about USD 7.7 billion in 2030s. The report also projects the economic damage and losses in India from climate change to be around 1.8 percent of its GDP annually by 2050.

• Estimates by NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) indicate that the mitigation activities for moderate low carbon development would cost around USD 834 billion till 2030 at 2011 prices.

• A preliminary estimate suggests that at least USD 2.5 trillion (at 2014-15 prices) will be required for meeting India's climate change actions between now and 2030.


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