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India, the poorest of the top 5 super-emitters, will need a different path to net-zero

Source : Times of India

Notes by Narsi

India might be the third largest GHG emitter worldwide, but it is 110th when it comes to per capita GHG emissions, with just 1.74 tons of CO2 emissions equivalent per annum per person. Compare that to the US (13th position - 13.68 tons), Russia (20th position, 11.64 tons), Japan (26th position, 8.4 tons), and China (28th position, 8.2 tons). So, an average American emits about 8 times and a Chines about 5 times as much CO2 as an average Indian.

The difference is stark.

India is easily the poorest of super emitters, and it will indeed need to devise different strategies for its decarbonization. Poor countries, or developing countries if you wish, cannot afford the same strategies that wealthy emitters can - and it was their wealth creation process that the first resulted in our current situation.

But interestingly, India is on the path to wealth creation right now. But we have to create wealth without the concomitant emissions. Wealth creation in a sustainable manner could be possible, but can it be achieved in a short period of time? A large part of the developed countries’ developed status has been achieved fairly rapidly because they exploited fossil energy sources, and used up large parts of natural resources such as water, minerals, etc. in a fairly unsustainable manner (which again indirectly led to greenhouse gas emissions). Can we do it fast without emitting those emissions?

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