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Cumulative Emission quota of India to meet the climate targets: rationale of allowances
  • Sonam Sahu,
  • Izuru Saizen
Sonam Sahu
Doctoral Student

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Izuru Saizen
Associate Professor
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The year 2020 will mark the onset of Paris Agreement, whose main aim is to limit global warming to 2° C. This has set a limit on the amount of Greenhouse gases the world can still emit in order to be safe. Now, different principles (like inertia, equity, blended) for allocating a justified share of carbon emissions to the countries are being actively discussed in research communities. Current study determines the global carbon share of India using these principles. Future cumulative emission quota of India starting from the year 2015 and from 2020 to meet the warming limits of 2°C and 3°C associated with a 66% and 50% probability has been calculated. Methods proposed in previous studies are referred. Results show that the share for India based on the principle of inertia and equity are 9.58% and 16.03% respectively. While the principle that accounts historical accountability (called inclusive sharing) is the most promising one; ranging from 17.98 to 22.46%. The results with inclusive sharing are more than double that of inertia sharing and significantly higher than equity sharing. With these results, we advocate that neither the principle of inertia nor equity alone can be ascertained as fully justified criteria for countries like India in determining the future emissions. On the other hand, ‘inclusive sharing’ that accounts for historical accountability of the country is suggested as a more justified principle for carbon sharing. Additionally, this outcome also questions the general assumption that per capita based emission allocation method is most advantageous for a highly populated country. In the end, we conclude by defending the factor of historical accountability for rationalizing the emission rights of countries that represent high share of world population and significantly low per capita emissions. This study finds importance in climate science research in determining how rational are the different sharing principles and how they can affect the development of different countries in the world.