India says greenhouse gas pollution to jump

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India said it expects its greenhouse gas emissions to jump to between 4 billion tons and 7.3 billion tons in 2031, a report said on Wednesday.

Per capita emissions are estimated to rise to 2.1 tons by 2020 and 3.5 tons by 2030.

The report is the nation’s most sweeping emissions summary, highlighting India’s growing role as a key player in U.N.-led climate negotiations aimed at winning agreement of all nations to curb the growth in planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

“The results should set at rest any apprehensions that India’s GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions are poised for runaway increase over the next two decades,” the government report said.

One environmentalist said that the figures had to be put in global context.

“It doesn’t seem much because per capita emission for the world right now is approximately 2 tons average,” said Siddharth Pathak, a leading Indian campaigner for Greenpeace.

In a 2004 report to the United Nations, the last time India published detailed emissions data, the government said total greenhouse gas emissions were 1.228 billion metric tons, or about 1.3 tons per person, in 1994.

A government report in August said India contributes around five percent to global carbon dioxide emissions, but was still only about a quarter of the emissions of China and the United States.

Reporting by Krittivas Mukherjee; Editing by Alistair Scrutton