Welcome to the Earth.Org Global Sustainability Index, where Earth.Org examines the policies and actions regarding the environment of every nation on earth. Combining the most respected global indexes on pollution, climate change, policy, energy, oceans, biodiversity we have produced an overall Global Index, which will be updated annually. This is the Global Sustainability Index scorecard for India.
India is the world’s third-largest energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter, though its per capita emissions are low: in 2017, India’s per capita emissions were at 1.61 tons of carbon dioxide, just over a third of the global average (4.37 tons of carbon dioxide).
With current policies, India is on track to meet its Paris targets, and possibly overachieve them. The country has proven to be a global leader in renewable energy, with investments in this area exceeding those in fossil fuels. The government has committed to deploying expansive solar and wind energy capacity.
India has committed to achieving a 40% electric power installed capacity from non-fossil-fuel energy resources by 2030- this is currently at 38%. Of this, renewable energy makes up 23%. The country has committed to a target of 450 GW of renewable energy installations by 2030- five times more than India’s current installed renewable capacity and bigger than the size of the country’s electricity grid size in 2019 (362 GW).
The country has also committed to reduce its emissions intensity by 33-35% by 2030 below 2005 levels. However, this is projected to be even lower- in the range of 35-50%.
Its third NDC commitment is to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030, although progress in this area has been limited.
Though technical, financial and regulatory challenges exist, India has made significant progress in fulfilling its climate pledges.
- India has emerged as a global leader in renewable energy, with investments in this sector surpassing those of fossil fuel for the last three years.
- However, the country continues to expand its coal industry. India’s emissions increased by 4.8% in 2018, mainly due to coal.
- However, India is still on track to achieve a 2˚C Paris Agreement-compatible profile since the adoption of its National Electricity Plan (NEP).
* Our Climate Change Ranking considers this country’s efforts toward climate change insufficient and thus has not ranked it.
You might also like: Global Emissions (2016)
Biodiversity, Policy: Sachs, J., Schmidt-Traub, G., Kroll, C., Lafortune, G., Fuller, G. (2019): Sustainable Development Report 2019. New York: Bertelsmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
Oceans: Halpern, Benjamin S., et al. “An index to assess the health and benefits of the global ocean.” Nature 488.7413 (2012): 615-620.
Pollution: Wendling, Z. A., Emerson, J. W., Esty, D. C., Levy, M. A., de Sherbinin, A., et al. (2018). 2018 Environmental Performance Index. New Haven, CT: Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy. https://epi.yale.edu/
Climate Change: Climate Change Performance Index; Jan Burck, Ursula Hagen, Niklas Höhne, Leonardo Nascimento, Christoph Bals, ISBN 978-3-943704-75-4, 2019
Energy: Enerdata –World Energy Statistics – Yearbook.