The recent Leaders’ Summit has signaled a strong comeback by the United States into the climate fold. Other major economies like Canada and Japan too have ramped up their climate targets, indicating a global thrust towards emissions reduction. With this build-up of momentum, India will also be pushed to revise its climate commitments. Given the ongoing efforts to revive the economy damaged by the pandemic, this is an opportune time for India to both take stock of its emissions and devise new pathways for a sustainable future.
As part of the Paris agreement, India has committed to bring down the emissions intensity of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 33–35% in 2030 from the 2005 levels. To keep a track on the progress made, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) mandates that non-Annex I parties (developing countries including India) submit their Biennial Update Report (BUR) with their emission inventories not older than 4 years. So far India has submitted two National Communications (NCs) in 2004 and 2012 and three BURs in 2016, 2018, and 2021. India’s latest emission inventory, submitted earlier this year, contains the estimates for 2016.
Both the NC and BUR present inventory at a sectoral level for the whole of India, with no disaggregation across states. The states have diverse socio-economic profiles with different sources of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and varied trends across regions.