India third biggest CO2 emitter

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India third biggest CO2 emitter Mathrubhumi English edition

Miami:India is the third biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, with state-owned NTPC topping the list of companies belching the deadly gas, according to new data released by a Washington-based think tank which has advocated an ‘energy revolution’ in the country based on solar power.

The Center for Global Development (CGD) said that India figures at the third position in the list of biggest CO2 emitters through power generation after China and the United States. When contacted, NTPC officials said in Delhi, ‘We are among the most efficient producers of power using fossil fuels. NTPC is the second best in the world, emitting only 800 grams of CO2 per kwh of electricity generation.’

Out of 638,000,000 tons of CO2 emission by India every year, NTPC alone contributes for 186,000,000 tons which constitutes about 30 per cent of the total gas release, the data revealed and Talcher power plant in Orissa operated by the company has the notoriety of emitting the biggest quantity of CO2.

As many as 16 power plants, operated by NTPC, one of the Navratna companies of India, are in CGD’s ‘Red Alert’ category for spewing out the deadly gas in the country. The findings, part of a recent report by CGD on ‘China surpassing the US as the world’s biggest emitter of CO2 from power generation’, also name Russia, Germany, Japan, UK, Australia, South Africa, and South Korea among the world’s top-ten power sector emitter in absolute terms.

Describing the recent data as a ’cause of serious concern’, CGD said the climate scientists warn that the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere must be quickly stabilised to avert climate catastrophe, which will hit first and worst in the developing world, with declining agricultural productivity, droughts, floods and rapid sea level rise hitting densely populated, low-lying regions.

‘A number of power companies have expressed desire for national policies to limit emissions and promote alternative energy,’ Kevin Ummel, who manages CGD’s Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) database, told. ‘But without financial incentives for big emitters to change their behaviour, they will continue operating and building carbon-intensive plants – and Earth’s climate moves closer to the breaking point,’ Ummel said.

The new data shows that emissions from power generation are racing in the wrong direction, says CGD senior fellow David Wheeler. ‘We urgently need to cut power related CO2 emissions and to very rapidly bring down the price of proven, zero-carbon renewable power sources, such as wind and solar’.

The NTPC official also said that coal is being used as a main fuel, so CO2 emission is natural ‘but our effort is that it is produced in an efficient manner to produce minimum CO2’.

Pointing out that India and other developing countries have not presented any specific emission targets or timetable in last month’s climate-themed G-8 Summit, Ummel said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his speech had assured of pooling all scientific, technical and managerial talents in the country, with financial sources, to develop solar energy as a source of abundant energy to power India’s economy and to transform the lives of people there