India is poised to overtake Russia and become the world’s third largest emitter of carbon dioxide, agree scientists in a new report released on Friday. The International Energy Association had already said as much late last year. China, meanwhile, has overtaken the US to become the largest emitter. The report by a scientists’ research consortium called Global Carbon Project also shows that emissions are growing four times faster than a decade ago — and that fossil fuels accounted for 85% of emissions in 2007.
All this will intensify pressures on India — and China — in global negotiations on binding carbon emission cuts for the post-Kyoto pact to be concluded by 2009.
Most important, though, is the need for an internal reality check at home. India’s 2008 “action plan” on climate change is a misnomer. It has no specified emission goals, no defined outcomes for a gamut of missions. China, in contrast, last year set voluntary, quantitative targets for 2010.