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India's GHG Emission Profile: MOEF report

India’s Ministry of Environment & Forests (MOEF) released the report "India's GHG Emission Profile: Result of Five Climate Modelling Studies". This report compares 5 different studies that forecast India's GHG emissions.

Studies presented in the report
This report summarizes the initial results of five studies. These studies are:
1.   NCAER-CGE: A computable general equilibrium (CGE) model study by India’s National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER)
2.   TERI-MoEF: A MARKet ALlocation (MARKAL) model study by The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI)
3.   IRADe-AA:  An  Activity  Analysis  model  study  by  the Integrated  Research  and  Action  for Development (IRADe)
4.   TERI-Poznan:  Another  MARKAL  model  based  study  by The  Energy  &  Resources  Institute presented at the 14th Conference of Parties (COP) on Climate Change at Poznan
5.   McKinsey: A detailed sector by sector analysis of GHG emissions by McKinsey and Company

The report has been positioned to be provde unbiased and rigurous analysis from analysts tracking the sector. The first three studies were funded by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India. The TERI-Poznan and McKinsey studies were supported by other funding sources.

Per capita GHG emissions forecast

GHG emissions range
The report compares the forecasts of India's GHG emissions for the year 2031-32:
1. Estimates of India’s per capita GHG emissions in 2030-31 vary from 2.77 tonnes to 5.00 tonnes of CO2e, with four of the five studies estimating that India’s GHG emission per capita will stay under 4 tonnes per capita.
2. In absolute terms, estimates of India’s GHG emissions in 2031 vary from 4.0 billion tonnes to 7.3 billion tonnes of CO2e, with four of the five studies estimating that even two decades from now, India’s total GHG emissions will remain under 6 billion tonnes of CO2e.

The higher ranges come from the TERI-Poznan and McKinsey studies.

Total GHG emissions forecast

Methodologies and assumptions
From the information provided on these studies, a range of metholodlogies have been used to model the factors of production across industry sectoes and consumer behavioral pattern. All of them have assumed a level of technology adoption and increased energy efficiencies over time. Except for the McKinsey report, these efficiencies are expected to be outcomes of market forces and with the current policies; no new GHG mitigation policies are factored in. The McKinsey study does not attribute a reason to the technology adoption, except for laying out that scenarios withe different levels of adoption.

Are the models robust?
While a lot of the above figures represent 'ranges', one must point out that these are all illustrative scenarios: not best-case and not worst-case. More importantly, the models have yet to show that they are tracking reality.

As an example, the global emission figures in illustrative scenario of the McKinsey study "Pathways to a Low Carbon Economy" released in 2008 is already veering off its trajectory as adoption of some of the technical measures has still not happened at the projected pace.

We hope to track updates on these studies and models to get a better indication on the rate of increase of future GHG emissions.

Author: SustainabilityOutlook