As the Earth continues to warm, climate experts are on the lookout for events that could push the Earth past its crucial limits. One of the most concerning thresholds is the 2 degree increase in global temperatures (measured in Celsius), which represents the gateway to dangerous warming. Right now, climate scientists are concerned India’s continued greenhouse gas emissions growth could be the thing that tips the scales. Critics say India hasn’t enacted tough enough standards for emissions, but the country’s leaders claim financial restraints are making it difficult to keep up with green technology.
The cause for alarm isn’t new, as India has struggled to curtail emissions for years, and its progress hasn’t been stellar. India promised to control the increase of emissions to a rate slower than the economy’s growth, which is estimated to translate into 8.5 percent per year by the end of the next decade. India also has plans for new coal-fired power and other new infrastructure that would commit the country to relatively high pollution levels for decades. One of the most problematic parts of India’s plan, however, is that the nation has failed to identify a point in time for carbon emissions to peak. Even the world’s largest source of carbon and other greenhouse gases, China, has set such a goal.
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, is preparing to visit the United Kingdom this week for talks on climate change ahead of the COP21 summit in Paris, which begins November 30. Reportedly, Modi will ask British officials to share developments in renewable energy and other “clean” technology that can be applied in India, and the PM will also request financial assistance for clean energy projects. It’s uncertain how the UK government will respond, but it’s reasonable to assume Modi will face criticism and pressure at the Paris climate talks.
Although 2014 brought extremely high temperatures, 2015 is on target to breach the 1C threshold, measured against pre-industrial levels. In fact, global temperatures have already surpassed that mark, based on figures from January to September this year, which are already 1.02C above the average between 1850 and 1900. India’s growing population and carbon emissions are threatening to guarantee the second half of progress toward the dangerous warming threshold, but with help, the nation could fulfill its proposed promise to garner 40 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. That could certainly help delay that critical 2 degree gain.
Via The Guardian