In the First Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC, the Government of India projected that India’s primary energy use would go from 397 Mtoe in 2006-07 to 1823 Mtoe in 2030. GDP would grow at the rate of 9%. Primary energy supply including gathered noncommercial fuels such as fuelwood and dung would grow at 5.8% per year. Commercial energy supply would grow at about 6.8% per annum. Requirement of India’s dominant fuel, coal and lignite, would expand from around 318 million tonnes in 2006-07 to over 1659 million tons per annum. And with this scenario they made the “voluntary pledge to UNFCCC of a 20-25% reduction in GHG emissions intensity (excluding emissions from agriculture) of Indian GDP by 2020 from 2005 levels. The emission intensity of GDP was 35.14 kg CO2 eq/`1,000 (at constant 2004-05 prices) in 2005, which declined to 31.01 kg CO2 eq/`1,000 (at 2004-2005 prices) in 2010.” (Ref 1)
In the Second Biennial Report to the UNFCC they said the target voluntary pledge is 22.84 kg CO2e/1000 Rs GDP at constant prices (65% of the 2005 level of 35.14 kg CO2e/1000 Rs) by 2030. (Ref 2)
During the Corona lockdown, according to the RBI, “electricity consumption has plunged.” “The only silver lining was provided by agriculture, with the summer sowing of rice, pulses and oilseeds in the country progressing well, with total area sown under the current kharif season up by 43.5 per cent so far, and the rabi harvest promising to be a bumper as reflected in record procurement.” “There has been a broad based and deep contraction in the March IIP (Index of Industrial Production) which fell to -16.7% from 4.6% in March. Passenger vehicle sales have plummeted. Consumer non-durables have fallen by -16%. Indicators of fixed investment have tanked: finished steel consumption has declined by -90.9%, and IIP Capital goods (which proxy for machinery and equipment) have also fallen by -35.6%. PMI manufacturing declined to 27.4 in April from 51.8 in March due to a sharp contraction in output and new export orders. The services PMI dropped to 5.4 in April from 49.3 in March due to a sharp fall in business activity. Exports have also fallen drastically by -60.3%” “To sum up, economic activity is expected to contract in 2020-21. While supply lines are likely to be restored as lockdown is relaxed, demand would take far longer to revive to pre-COVID levels. .. In fact, the damage is so deep and extensive that India’s potential output has been pushed down, and it will take years to repair.” Because of the collapse of GDP, the RBI did liquidity augmentation of ₹9.42 lakh crore (4.6 per cent of GDP). (Ref 3)
So if GDP is currently Rs 204.78 lakh crore, and, though the carbon dioxide emissions for 2019 are not known, they may be around not much more than the 2.607.5 billion tonnes of 2014, what is the 2019-2020 carbon dioxide emission intensity? For climate change mitigation reporting purposes GDP is given at constant (2011-12) prices. In 2019 GDP at constant prices was INR 143.1 trillion. (Ref 4) INR 143.1 trillion GDP in 2019 at constant prices and emissions of 2.6075 billion tonnes CO2e gives an emission intensity of 18.22 kg CO2 / Rs 1000 at constant prices for 2019. So already in 2019 the emission intensity is even lower than the 2030 target of 22.84 kg CO2e / Rs
1000 GDP at constant prices. The Government of India has already met its main international commitment, 10 years early.
Now what happens next? Given the collapse of GDP growth due to the Corona lockdown, there are two scenarios. One is the continuation of the Hindutva Nazi financial fascist scenario, in which GDP growth will probably be not much more than population growth, which would bring GDP at constant prices to INR 158.1 trillion at constant prices in 2030, and would mean that emissions could be as high as INR 158.1 trillion x 22.84 kg CO2/ 1000 Rs = 3.61 billion tonnes of CO2 and the Government of India could still meet the Paris Agreement pledge.
But I don’t think the emissions will be as high as that, because the other stated goals are “to achieve about 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030, and to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.”
It is highly likely that the Government of India even of a financial fascist variety will achieve not only its Paris Agreement pledge of 35% emission intensity reduction against 2005 levels but also the solar pledge of 40% of electricity generation.
What it will not achieve is the forestry target. This will be impossible for Hindutva Nazi financial fascists. Shifting away from industry to forestry, and land for all, cannot be done by Nazi financial fascists, and without land for all we cannot get the forest cover. Forests need to be lived in. We need to abolish the forest department. For growing forests we need socialist money. For justice, equity and fraternity and caste equality and abolition of wage labour we need socialist money and socialist societies, and without these things it is impossible to grow forests. I personally think that to achieve 3 billion tonnes of carbon sequestration in forests the Hindutva Nazis need to be overthrown, the States need to be sovereign, and they have a policy of land for all and debt free money. In that case the States of the Republic of India could be a net zero GHG emissions by 2030 and have happy people living in them, who would enjoy pleasant temperatures and be all set for climate change adaptation.
Basically, the way the Government of India set the Paris targets, even the worst ignorant and anti-people and financial fascist Government of India is quite likely to achieve the Paris energy intensity and the solar PV generation targets. But not the forest target. And so, actually, again, the issue is more about caste equality, more about equality, fraternity and justice, more about land for all and about caste equality, and less about the climate targets, which seem to be on track.
And so, who cares about climate, when injustice is so unbearable? Let us have land for all, otherwise the people on this subcontinent where the climate is so perfect for forests, will not be living as they were intended to live. The most important Government of India Paris Agreement pledge requires the overthrow of the BJP and NDA Government.
Anandi Sharan was born in Switzerland, educated in the UK, lived in Karnataka villages for many years, now lives in Bangalore and last year worked in Araria District in Bihar. She works now on trying to find the best money system to help people adapt to climate change especially in India.