India’s reduction in emission intensity of gross domestic product (GDP) will be higher than 20-25 per cent by the year 2020 from 2005 levels, the target which it had set during the Copenhagen Summit, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has said.

Stating that India stands by its commitment made in the Copenhagen Accord to decline its emission intensity by 20-25 per cent, Ramesh said without hampering country’s economic growth, reduction in emission will be much more than what has been pledged.

Ahead of the UN meet on Climate Change in Cancun this month-end, Ramesh said, “We had made an announcement in this regard which was reflected at the Copenhagen Accord (last year). We stand by that commitment. And All our calculations show that we will in fact improve our targets.”

“Our reduction in emission will be much more than 20-25 per cent,” the Minister maintained yesterday while talking to reporters after a ministerial dialogue on climate change and technology mechanism which saw the participation of over 35 nations.

Emission intensity is the measure of emissions caused relative to economic output produced.

Ramesh had recently told Parliament that as India’s GDP grows, its emissions shall increase in absolute terms but the growth rate of emissions will moderate as reflected in declining intensity of GDP.

In fact, India’s emission intensity has declined by 17.6 per cent between 1990 and 2005 while its energy intensity has been decreasing since 1980s and is already in the same range as that of the least energy intensive countries in the world.

According to a ministry report, it is estimated that India’s per capita emissions in the year 2031 will be lower than the per capita global emission of GHG in the year 2005.

Ramesh said in percentage terms India at 5.3 per cent, is the third largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions after China (19.5 per cent), USA (19.2 per cent). Russia, Japan and Germany contribute 5.1 per cent, 3.6 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively to the total GHG emission in the world.

While India pledged to cut its emission intensity by 20-25 per cent by 2020 on a baseline of 2005, China has announced to cut its carbon intensity by 40-45 per cent on the same baseline.