India's rising greenhouse gas emissions

A recent report released by the Indian environment minister suggests that India’s annual greenhouse emissions increased by 58 percent from 1994-2007. Curious about the statistics? The emissions grew from 1.25 billion tons to 1.90 billion tons.

India is almost at par with Russia, which is the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter. Russian emissions in 2007 were estimated to be 2.2 billion tons. It is important to note that India's emissions have been growing at a faster pace than Russia’s as it strives to achieve an accelerated economic growth rate. In India major investments have been and are being made in coal-fired power stations, steel mills, cement plants and mining. Most of these industries release huge amounts carbon into the atmosphere.

However, India is also making investments in energy generation activities. But is it ready to go whole hog with renewable energy? Is it a viable option for India at this point? These statistics and numbers also beg another important question, can there be a legally binding international treaty anytime soon that aims at reducing greenhouse gases? Would there be a breakthrough at the Cancun summit at the end of this year or would the blame-game continue and Cancun might end up like Copenhagen?

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