By Krittivas Mukherjee
NEW DELHI, Dec 2 (Reuters) - India thinks it is possible to cut its carbon intensity by 24 percent by 2020 compared with 2005 levels, according to provisional government figures obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.
Carbon intensity is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted for each unit of gross domestic product.
By 2030, India estimates it could achieve a reduction in its carbon emissions by 37 percent from 2005 levels. The figures were arrived at after an analysis by various government departments.
A senior government official who declined to be named said India’s final targets, likely to be presented at next week’s global climate change talks in Copenhagen, could reflect a broad range rather than a specific figure.
India’s carbon intensity cut figures are based on a projection that the country would achieve 20 percent energy efficiency by 2020 from 2007 levels.
India, the world’s fourth highest emitter, is under pressure to announce details of how it will control its growing carbon emissions, and issuing targets will likely strengthen New Delhi’s hands at the Copenhagen negotiations.
China and the United States, the top and second largest emitters in the world, have unveiled plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions, leaving India the only major polluter still to issue any targets.
Government sources said India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh will make a statement in parliament on Thursday in which he could announce the targets.
The Dec 7-18 U.N. talks in the Danish capital were aimed at settling a legally binding deal after arguments between rich and poor nations about who should cut emissions, by how much and who should pay.
But the negotiations have run out of time and hopes are growing that a substantive political pact can be agreed at the meeting instead. (Editing by David Fox) ((For stories on the politics, policy and economics of climate change, see [nCLIMATE])) ((email@example.com; +91-11-4178-1000; firstname.lastname@example.org)) ((If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to email@example.com))