India’s carbon emissions seen falling
India’s carbon dioxide emissions fell for the first time in four decades as a combination of economic weakness and competition from renewable power limited consumption of fossil fuels. Emissions likely dropped by 1.4% in the year ended March, thanks to slowing demand for coal and oil over the previous 12 months, Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air analysts said in a report on 12 May 2020.
- Carbon dioxide releases plunged 15% in March and 30% in April from a year earlier, as a countrywide lockdown to halt the spread of the coronavirus further eroded fuel demand, the report said.
- The pandemic could influence long-term energy planning in a country that’s the world’s third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide and heavily reliant on coal to drive its economic growth. Weeks of lockdown have eased India’s chronic air pollution, raising hopes of a more sustainable solution.
- With declining prices of clean energy, a shift in the country’s energy mix is already emerging. India’s coal-fired generation fleet had an average utilization of 56% in the 12 months through March, the lowest in at least 15 years, power ministry data show.
- Any return of India’s poor air quality and smog can be expected to trigger a stronger response, the report said.