India’s Ministry of Environments and Forests released its greenhouse gas inventory of 2007 emissions Tuesday, making it the first developing country to publish emissions data this year. The ministry also announced that it will now publish an updated inventory every two years.
The Indian government most recently released emissions data in 2006 based on 1994 figures. Since then, India’s emissions have grown at an average annual rate of 3.3 percent, increasing from 1.25 billion tons in 1994 to 1.9 billion tons in 2007. The report analyzes emissions from electricity use, transportation, agriculture, and land use change, the last of which actually serves as a net carbon sink in India, in contrast to many developing countries where deforestation is a major source of emissions.
India is now the world’s fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, ranking behind China, the United States, the European Union, and Russia. When releasing the data, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh emphasized that India’s emissions are still one-quarter of those of the top emitters, the United States and China. He further highlighted that in the same period, from 1994-2007, India reduced the emissions intensity of its economy by 30 percent. India has announced plans to reduce emissions intensity by a further 20-25 percent between 2005 and 2020.
The Indian Network of Climate Change Assessment (INCCA), a network of scientists and research institutions established last October by Minister Ramesh, produced the report. In addition to the greenhouse gas inventory, INCCA has announced plans to assess climate change impacts in India and conduct long-term ecosystem monitoring. INCCA’s next report, a review of regional impacts from climate change on water resources, agriculture, forests, and human health, is scheduled for release in November.