There would be no climate crisis if emissions of the entire world were at the same per capita level as India, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said at the ongoing U.N. climate summit in Egypt on Thursday.
Participating in a session on “Accelerating Resilient Infrastructure in Small Island Developing States” (SIDS) on the sidelines of COP27, Mr. Yadav said the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states clearly that the responsibility for warming is directly proportional to the contribution to cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide.
All CO2 emissions, whenever they take place, contribute equally to warming, he said.
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“Considering per capita emissions, for an objective scale for comparison, India’s emissions are, even today, about one-third of the global average. If the entire world were to emit at the same per capita level as India, the best available science tells that there would be no climate crisis,” he added.
At 2.4 tCO2e (tonne carbon dioxide equivalent), India’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions are far below the world average of 6.3 tCO2e, according to a report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) last month.
Per capita emissions in the U.S. (14 tCO2e) are far above the global average, followed by Russia (13 tCO2e), China (9.7 tCO2e), Brazil and Indonesia (around 7.5 tCO2e each), and the European Union (7.2 tCO2e).
IPCC reports and all other best available science also show that India is among those countries with high vulnerability to climate change. So, it is very sympathetic to the situation of the island states and others, the minister said.
India, with over 7,500 km of coastline and more than 1,000 islands in the surrounding seas, and a large coastal population dependent on the sea for livelihood, is also a highly vulnerable nation on the global scale. India recorded 1,058 climatic disasters between 1995 and 2020, Mr. Yadav said.