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Brief description:


(This country has no specific CCS policy)


In May 2010, the Indian government published its report, India's Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2007, which showed the country’s emissions had increased by 41.66% between 1994 and 2007. This placed India fifth in the global league of major GHG emitters, following the US, China, the European Union and Russia. IEA estimates suggest national emissions rose by 8.7% in 2011, compared to 2010. 

In 2007, India’s net GHG emissions were 1.7 billion tonnes compared with 1.2 billion tonnes in 1994. The energy sector was a major contributor, being responsible for 58% of all emissions. Industry contributed 22%, with 17% coming from agriculture. Electricity generation, of which 90% was fuelled by coal, accounted for 65.4% of the energy sector’s total output. Petroleum refining and solid fuel manufacture were highlighted as energy-intensive industries – they were responsible for emitting 33.85 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent during 2007. The IEA estimates that India’s emissions rose by 8.7 per cent in 2011 compared to 2010. 

Indigenous reserves of coal are enough to meet India’s power needs for at least another 100 years, and nearly 70% of the power requirements in India are met by thermal power plants. 

However, the report also noted that the emissions intensity of India’s gross domestic product had dropped by 30% over the same period. The government has said this is due to measures already put in place to increase energy efficiency and tackle emissions.

Government challenges

As a Non-Annex 1 Party within the Kyoto Protocol, India’s government is prioritising the need to balance a fast-growing economy with sustainable development along with measures to tackle poverty and improve access to education and healthcare.

Prior to September 2009, India had argued that emissions needed to increase in order to provide electricity to 400 million poor people, who depend on fossil fuels to heat and light their homes.

The IPCC’s report, Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007 spelled out the impact on Asia of predicted rises in GHG emissions. Higher annual mean temperatures would potentially increase rainfall intensity during the summer monsoon, thereby expanding flood-prone areas in temperate and tropical Asia. A decline in rainfall in central parts of arid and semi-arid Asia would lead to the expansion of deserts and result in severe water stress.

The authors of India’s 2007 emissions report, INCCA (see below) have recently been focusing on the impact of climate change on water systems, agriculture, forests and health within four climate hot spots in India - the Himalayas, north-east India, the Western Ghats and coastal India. According to the Minister of the Environment, their results will guide future policy-making decisions.

Government commitments

India ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002 but, as a Non-Annex I Party, it has no obligation to reduce its emissions. The country is a member of the UNFCCC and, in September 2009, gave a non-binding commitment to report annually to the UN on efforts to curb emissions.

In 2009, the government announced it would aim to reduce emissions intensity by between 20% and 25% of 2005 levels by 2020. It has also announced a number of green goals, such as increasing the role of renewables within the energy production sector to 20% by 2020 and ensuring that 10% of annual greenhouse gas emissions are sequestered by forests.

The government is beginning to recognise the benefits of carbon sequestration. In February 2012, it was poised to launch a "national mission on clean coal technologies", its ninth under the National Action Plan for Climate Change, see below. Its stated aim is to promote work on IGCC, advanced ultra supercritical technology and CCS, among other areas.

India’s Environment Ministry has recognised the need to track GHG emissions more vigorously in order to support the country’s stance within international talks on climate change and strengthen arguments for support for developing countries to manage the resulting impacts.

Climate change initiatives

The 2007 report on India’s emissions was prepared by the Indian Network of Climate Change Assessment (INCCA). This network of 127 leading research institutions from across India was launched in 2009 by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Its remit is to carry out research into the impact of climate change on the country’s different regions and economic sectors. INCCA aims to develop the country’s climate change expertise and promote science-based policymaking within government. Its reports will also form part of communications to the UNFCCC.

The National Action Plan on Climate Change, which was published by the Prime Minister’s Office in 2008 launched research ‘missions’ on agriculture, water, energy, and forestry, Himalayan ecosystems and the building of knowledge on climate change. This led to the creation of the INCCA. The full plan can be downloaded here. The plan takes a cautious policy approach to CCS and the government seeks assurances over cost as well as the reliability of long-term storage sites.

India has set up an Expert Group on Low Carbon Strategy for Inclusive Growth to develop a roadmap for low carbon development within oil and gas, industry and power generation sectors, which published an interim report in 2011. 

As of 1 July 2010, the government imposed a levy for every tonne of coal produced in the country or imported. The 2010-11 Budget allowed for the creation of a National Clean Energy Fund through revenues raised from this coal tax. A roadmap for how the money will be spent is awaited but it is expected to fund the National Action Plan on Climate Change. However, this is not billed as a carbon tax and no mention was made of CCS as a beneficiary.

International co-operation

Some national organisations are creating international links to explore CCS further. And the government itself is a member of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, suggesting an interest in investigating the technology further. The Global CCS Institute is working with the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) on a CCS scoping study.

The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate was set up in 2006 comprising a membership of the national governments of India, Australia, Japan, China, South Korea, Canada and the US. Its eight action plans included the Action Plan on Cleaner Fossil Energy, which identified 13 project proposals for exploring clean coal and gas technologies. Australia chaired the partnership and was the main financial contributor, pledging A$200 million over 5 years towards the so-called AP6 projects. The partnership had also worked to build links between the public and private sector, disseminate knowledge and promote best practice. It concluded its work in early 2011, with a number of its projects continuing and/or being transferred to other agencies.

The US-India Energy Dialogue was launched in May 2005 to promote trade and investment in the energy sectors of both countries. The initiative has five working groups - oil and gas, coal, energy efficiency, new technologies renewables and civil nuclear co-operation. In September 2012, the dialogue meeting touched on the use of CCS with, for example, fertilizer manufacture and EOR operations, with both sides agreeing to further explore this potential. No clear commitments to CCS development were made.

Other information

India's Ministry of Environment and Forests

India’s pledge to UN on annual reporting, The Guardian, 25 Sept 2009

Rise in India’s emissions, The Guardian, 12 May 2008

India’s emissions report, Headlines India, 11 May 2010