For the first time in four decades, emissions of toxic carbon dioxide have declined in the country — thanks to an economic slowdown, growth of clean energy and the ongoing lockdown. This was revealed in the latest analysis done by Lauri Myllyvirta and Sunil Dahiya of the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA).
According to the analysis, CO2 emissions in the country fell by around 15 per cent in March, and are likely to have fallen by 30 per cent last month, year-on-year.
Using the latest consumption data for coal, oil and gas, the analysts concluded that CO2 emissions fell by 30 million tonnes in the financial year 2019-20 compared to the previous fiscal.
‘Fall in fossil-fuel use cut CO2 emissions’
As per analysts, power and transportation sectors are the major contributors of CO2 pollution in the country. TOI earlier reported that the thermal sector spewed out nearly 929 million tones of CO2 in a year.
“The fall in the consumption of fossil fuels has led to the decline in CO2 emissions,” said Dahiya.
The analysis, which is based on government data from various ministries, stated that power generated from coal-fired plants fell by 15 per cent in March, and 31 per cent in the first three weeks of April. “In contrast, renewable energy (RE) generation increased by 6.4 per cent in March, and saw a slight decrease of 1.4 per cent in the first three weeks of April,” it added. In an earlier study last year, Myllyvirta and Dahiya had predicted a sharp fall in the growth of CO2 emissions due to slowdown in the expansion of coal-fired electricity generation.
Not just coal, consumption of oil too has witnessed a decline. The already-slow demand in growth of oil consumption fell by 18 per cent this March, compared to the previous year.