India’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) have increased by 58 per cent to 1.9 billion tonnes between 1994-2009, primarily from coal-based power sector that nearly doubled its carbon footprint, a study has said.

“The growth in the power sector would inevitably result into the expansion of the carbon footprint in the sector,” according to a joint study by Assocham and Ernst & Young.

India has 10 per cent of the world’s coal reserves, and it plans to add 78.7 gigawatt of the power generation capacity during the 11th Five Year Plan, with most of it emanating from coal, it added.

The study further said the power sector accounted for 719.30 million tonnes of emission until recently against 355.03 million tonnes in 1994.

GHGs emissions from various sectors such as power and transportation are the main cause for global warming.

Aimed at complying with upcoming climate regulations and achieve growth in a low carbon sustainable trajectory, Indian industries would also have to reduce their carbon footprints significantly, the study said.

“They will have to monitor, report and get their emissions externally verified, strengthen strategic and operational actions on mitigation voluntary emission intensity reduction target by 2020, as they would be subject to individual carbon emission caps or sectoral energy benchmarks,” it said.

India at the Copenhagen Climate Summit last year has voluntarily pledged to cut its carbon emission intensity by 15 to 20 per cent by 2020 and is in the process of taking various steps to move towards low-carbon growth path.

The study has, however, predicted that, India’s GHG emissions percapita emissions would still be half the global average. “Coal gratification and demand side management initiatives would emerge as the most attractive technologies and shall receive immediate attention.”

It, however, emphasised that individual companies need to strengthen their endeavour to increase the efficiency of their processes, explore alternative fuel usage and strategic investments in clean tech.