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Trillions needed for India’s growth to be carbon neutral

In A bid to project what will be India’s optimum fuel mix pattern to tackle climate change,the Ministry of Environment and Forests has commissioned four...

Written by Neha Sinha | New Delhi |
July 13, 2009 12:43:53 am

In A bid to project what will be India’s optimum fuel mix pattern to tackle climate change,the Ministry of Environment and Forests has commissioned four think tanks to simulate a model for India’s growth. At least one model created by leading climate change scientist Dr R K Pachauri and his team at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) posits that if India continues on its current energy paths for the next 35 years,its per capita emissions will be five times what it is now.

But the investment needed to modify India’s energy consumption patterns to a low-carbon one by 2036-37 will be a staggering four to seven times the approximately $1.7 trillion cumulative investment in a ‘Business as Usual’ scenario,the study finds. Currently,India’s per capita emissions are relatively low — 1.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2),ranking 63 among 70 of the world’s leading nations.

Therefore,India will have to appeal to the international community for funding as soon as possible,Pachauri suggests. The model,which was recently submitted to Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh,is currently being studied by the Ministry.

“The fact that no resolution was reached on climate change by the G8 means that we have to redouble our actions on climate change. We had commissioned different think tanks to create models for India’s growth keeping in mind the challenge of climate change. We will now hold a technical workshop to discuss all the models,” Ramesh told The Indian Express.

The most carbon-neutral ‘Ambition’ scenario suggested by TERI will have 41 per cent renewable energy — 61 per cent of which would be solar — and a five per cent share of nuclear energy. Under this scenario,India’s per capita emissions would remain at 1.2 tonnes in 2031.

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