• India is responsible for 0.08 degrees Celsius of warming from the 1850s through 2021, a new study estimated.
  • India’s emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from 1851-2021 have resulted in 0.04°C, 0.03°C and 0.006°C of global warming over pre-industrial levels, respectively.
  • Overall, the country ranks fifth among the top 10 contributors to warming.
  • Since 2005, India climbed to the fifth spot from the 10th. China, too, rose to the second position after overtaking Russia.

Global Position:

  • The United States topped the list of countries, with a contribution of 0.28°C (17.3 per cent) of rise in temperature.
  • China stood second with 0.20°C (12.3 per cent) of warming, followed by Russia’s 0.10°C (6.1 per cent), Brazil’s 0.08°C (4.9 per cent) and India’s 0.08°C (4.8 per cent).

Significance of the study:

  • By focussing on the three gases that most countries include in their Nationally Determined Contributions, this dataset is uniquely positioned to informing climate policy and benchmarking.
  • It should become a living resource for continually tracking contributions to climate change and, more importantly, how those are changing.
  • Tracking national contributions to climate change can help understand the burden of responsibility carried by each country.
  • It can also further inform the design of international policies that pursue equitable decarbonisation pathways.

Contribution of the three gases:

The analysis showed that CO2 is responsible for 1.11°C of warming compared to methane’s 0.41°C and nitrous oxide’s 0.08°C.

Contribution of land-use and forestry sector:

  • The land-use and forestry sector is a significant contributor in half the countries.
  • CO2 emissions from land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) in Brazil led to 0.04°C of warming.
  • The LULUCF sector accounted for 38 per cent of the total warming from CH4 emissions and 72 per cent from N2O emissions between 1851-2021.
  • The contribution of India, China and Brazil towards warming due to CH4 and N2O increased by 110 per cent, 56 per cent and 55 per cent, respectively, compared to CO2-related warming alone.
  • Since 1992, the additional warming caused by global fossil fuel emissions has been over four times greater than the additional warming caused by land-use change.
What are Nationally Determined Contributions?

·        Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of its long-term goals.

·        NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

·        The Paris Agreement requires each Party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that it intends to achieve.

·        The government of India has recently updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) submitted by India to UNFCCC under the Paris Agreement. These include targets:

·        to reduce the Emissions intensity of its GDP by 45 percent by 2030, from 2005 level;

·        to achieve about 50 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030

·        create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.


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