• India Will Defy UN On Global Warming And Not Peak CO2 Emissions

    India is refusing to specify a year it will peak its carbon dioxide emissions levels from fossil fuel use, a blow to plans by the Obama administration and the United Nations to get firm commitments from the world’s major emitters to fight global warming.

    Despite pressure from the U.S. and the U.N., India has so far refused to sign a global warming deal that would force the country to forsake development in favor of environmental protection. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has already rejected overtures from the U.S. to peak emissions.

    “The world is not expecting… India to announce its peaking year,” India’s environment minister Prakash Javadekar told the BBC. “Countries know where India stands and what its requirements [development needs] are and therefore nobody has asked us for [the] peaking year.”

    Javadekar said the country would soon submit its plans for reducing CO2 emissions and it would be much more “ambitious than what the world is perceiving.” India has said it would do its part to fight global warming, but has repeatedly shown its resolve not to cave to international pressure.

    “Some people are trying to put pressure on us, saying that India too needs to declare its emissions peaking year,” Javadekar said. “China’s per capita annual emission is nearly 20 tonnes whereas ours is only two tonnes.”

    India is the world’s third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, but the country’s per capita emissions are well-below the national average. About one-third of Indians lack access to reliable electricity and poverty remains rampant throughout the country. India’s government is working hard to combat both of these issues, which includes using some green energy but also involved boosting coal-fired electricity use.

    Ramping up electricity use, mainly from fossil fuels, will require the country to drastically increase its carbon dioxide emissions in the coming decades as standards of living rise.

    The Obama administration tried to convince India to commit to peaking carbon emissions, echoing a similar deal the White House cut with China late last year. China promised to peak its emissions by 2030 and the U.S. promised to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025.

    “Having a peaking year was not acceptable to us,” an environment ministry official told the Hindustan Times earlier this year.

    In 2010, India did pledge to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy 20 to 25 percent below 2005 levels — the country’s agriculture sector, however, was exempted from the pledge. Though that pledge was made before Modi came to power and embarked on a campaign to raise Indian’s living standards.

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