Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Not much
Mains level: Air Pollution
- India emitted 2,299 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2018, a 4.8% rise from last year, according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
- The International Energy Agency is a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organization established in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis.
- The IEA was initially dedicated to responding to physical disruptions in the supply of oil, as well as serving as an information source on statistics about the international oil market and other energy sectors.
- The IEA acts as a policy adviser to its member states, but also works with non-member countries, especially China, India, and Russia.
The Global Energy & CO2 Status Report
- India’s emissions growth this year was higher than that of the United States and China — the two biggest emitters in the world.
- This was primarily due to a rise in coal consumption.
- China, the United States, and India together accounted for nearly 70% of the rise in energy demand.
- India’s per capita emissions were about 40% of the global average and contributed 7% to the global carbon dioxide burden.
- The United States, the largest emitter, was responsible for 14%.
- As per its commitments to the UNFCCC, India has promised to reduce the emissions intensity of its economy by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.
- It has also committed to having 40% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and, as part of this, install 100 GW of solar power by 2022.
- However the IEA report showed that India’s energy intensity improvement declined 3% from last year even as its renewable energy installations increased 10.6% from last year.
- India says it will cost at least $2.5trillion (Rs. 150 trillion approx.) to implement its climate pledge, around 71% of the combined required spending for all developing country pledges.
Soaring demands for fossil fuels
- Global energy consumption in 2018 increased at nearly twice the average rate of growth since 2010, driven by a robust global economy and higher heating and cooling needs in some parts of the world.
- Demand for all fuels increased, led by natural gas, even as solar and wind posted double digit growth.
- Higher electricity demand was responsible for over half of the growth in energy needs.
- The United States had the largest increase in oil and gas demand worldwide. Gas consumption jumped 10% from the previous year, the fastest increase since the beginning of IEA records in 1971.