India’s Energy Moment: Ready for a Low-Carbon Future?
In the aftermath of the historic joint U.S.-China climate announcement in November, international attention has now swung to India. With new national leadership firmly in place, many are wondering what Prime Minister Narendra Modi will do on energy and climate. Some pundits have called on India, the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter, to announce its own emissions target and take a lead role at the international climate negotiations. While some of these actions are within India’s reach, the pundits miss the point.
India today is a major contributor of greenhouse gases, but it’s not reasonable to put the country in the same class as the United States or China. Looking at per capita emissions, India produces at about 2 tons