India was among the countries that led the global increase in carbon dioxide emissions in the first five months of 2022, according to a multi-agency report coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization released on Tuesday.
Carbon emissions in India increased by 7.5% from January to May 2022 as compared to the same period last year, while the United States registered an increase of 5.7%. Emissions also increased in most European countries, the report said.
The United in Science report, which is published annually, deals with the impacts of climate change and the responses of governments to it.
The report released on Tuesday said that the Group of 20 (G20) members are not on track to achieve either their original or new pledges to cut emissions by 2030. The G20 nations account for 80% of global carbon dioxide emissions and 70% of global plastic production – as well as two-thirds of the world’s population and more than half of the world’s poor.
The study found that only ten G20 members – Argentina, China, European Union, India, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and the United Kingdom – are on track to achieve their previous Nationally Determined Contributions.
The Nationally Determined Contributions, which are targets set as per the Paris Agreement of 2015, indicate efforts taken by countries to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
On August 3, India approved new targets for slashing greenhouse gas emissions, more than a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced these goals in 2021 at United Nations climate talks in Glasgow.
The new Nationally Determined Contributions will commit India to reducing the emissions intensity of its Gross Domestic Product by 45% from its 2005 level in the next seven years, which is a 10% increase over its previous 2016 pledge.
The United in Science report has projected that under current policies, India, Russia, and Turkey may reduce their emissions to levels at least 15% lower than those implied by their unconditional Nationally Determined Contributions target. This indicates that the countries have significant room for raising their Nationally Determined Contributions ambition, noted the report.
The report cited a study from 2021 which said that future warming of the planet could lead to an intensification of the Indian monsoon and its variability. The study predicted that Indian monsoons may become shorter and heavier.
It also pointed out that the impact of global warming is also resulting in increased frequency of intense events in big cities. The United in Science report cited a study from 2021 and noted that this year, Delhi faced five heatwaves between March and May with record-breaking temperatures reaching 49.2 degree Celsius. Such extreme weather events and climate change increased the vulnerability of half of Delhi’s residents who live in low income, informal settlements, said the report.
Globally, cities are responsible for up to 70% of human-caused emissions, and will face increasing socio-economic impacts of extreme weather events, found the report.
The report points out that atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations have increased, despite reductions in emissions in 2020 resulting from Covid-19 lockdowns.
The report also predicted that during at least one year in the next five years, annual mean temperature will temporarily be 1.5 degree Celsius higher than in 1850-1900. “Additionally, there is a 93% chance that at least one year in the same time period will be the hottest on record,” said the report.