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close this bookThe Global Greenhouse Regime. Who Pays? (UNU, 1993, 382 p.)
close this folderPart III National greenhouse gas reduction cost curves
close this folder8 Integrating ecology and economy in India
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentEmissions inventory
View the documentEnergy efficiency and fuel substitution
View the documentEmissions and sequestration from forest biomass
View the documentConclusions
View the documentReferences

Emissions inventory

The Climate Change Convention calls for each Party to prepare an emissions inventory. GHGs-included in the inventory are carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and CFCs. Carbon dioxide and methane are emitted in larger amounts than the other GHGs, and CFCs are regulated under the Montreal Protocol. Several other different inventories have been prepared for India by experts both national and foreign. Emission estimates of CO2 from energy sources are in relatively close agreement. Estimates of CO2 from non-energy sources, and of methane from all sources, vary widely and have been debated in many fore.

In Table 8.1, we show the estimates of annual greenhouse gas emissions from anthropogenic activities in India for 1986. Carbon, emitted as carbon dioxide, emissions total 164 teragrams. Of these, emissions from forestry and land use changes amount to 20 teragrams. A more recent estimate places carbon emissions (as CO2) from fossil fuel use at 133 teragrams in 1988 compared to 139 in 1986, as shown in Table 8.1.5

Methane emissions are estimated at 55 teragrams in Table 8.1. Boden et al. estimate emissions of this gas from livestock and rice paddies to be 10 teragrams, compared to 48.2 in Table 8.1. The lower figure is the result of new emissions measurements which reflect smaller rice biomass from Indian paddy fields and the fact that areas emitting high methane flux are a fraction of total paddy area; and above-surface biomass weight is reportedly smaller than elsewhere.

Table 8.1 Estimates of annual GHG emissions from anthropogenic activities in India, 1986 (teragrams of gas)

  CO2 CO CH4 N2O FCs
1 Coal production - - 1.7   -
2 Coal combustion 378 (103) 6.6 0.04 0.03 -
3 Oil combustion 114 (31) 3.9 0.01 0.01 -
4 Gas combustion, flaring 18 (4.9) 0.01 0.002 0.002 -
5 Gas venting, leakages         -
1 Cement manufacture 18 (4.9)       -
2 CFCs(CFC-11 Equiv.) - - - - 0.01
3 Landfills - - 1.7   -
Agriculture and forestry          
1 Animal husbandry - - 10.4   -
2 Rice cultivation - - 37.8   -
3 Fertilizer use - - - 0.04 -
4 Biomass combustion - 55.6 3.5 0.09 -
5 Deforestation, land use changes 73 (20) - - 0.03 -
Total 601 (164) 66 55 0.2 0.01

Amount of carbon in the CO2 shown in brackets

Source: Ahuja, D (1990). Climate Change Technical Series: Estimating Regional Anthropogenic Emissions of Greenhouse Gases, US EPA Report No. 20P-2006.

The emissions inventory is for a single year and does not provide guidance on trends or future growth of these emissions. Oak Ridge National Laboratory has tracked historical emissions for several countries, including for India (Figure 8.1). Carbon dioxide emissions from India have increased at 5.7 per cent annually since 1950 as India climbed from thirteenth to fifth place in the world as a national contributor. With increased shares of oil and gas, the share of CO2 emissions from coal has declined from 87 per cent in 1950 to 71 per cent in 1989.

We have selected future scenarios from two authoritative reports for carbon dioxide emissions from energy and forestry sources. In Table 8.2, we show emissions estimates for commercial energy sources for 1985 and 2025, and for biomass sources for 1986 and 2011. Emissions from modern energy sources increase at a rapid pace in these scenarios but those from biomass increase much more slowly in either scenario.