In the pursuit of lower emissions, European nations have strangled themselves with economy-crimping restrictions on businesses and individuals. In India, power plants are burning more coal than ever as its economy grows. As its economy grows, India is on course to soon permanently produce greater emissions than Europe. Reuters’s Gavin Maguire reports:
India’s power sector emissions from fossil fuels exceeded those of Europe’s for the first time in April, May and June of this year, and are on course to permanently eclipse Europe’s power pollution totals due to diverging trends in fossil fuel use.
In Europe, cuts to coal and natural gas use alongside increases in renewable energy generation have trimmed total power emissions by 11% in the opening seven months of the year from the same period in 2022, data from think-tank Ember shows.
At the same time, India’s power emissions climbed 4.5% to new highs on the back of record use of high-polluting coal, which generates roughly 75% of India’s electricity.
Over the first seven months of 2023, Europe’s total fossil-powered emissions amounted to 667 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and equivalent gases, Ember data shows, which exceeds India’s 609 million tonnes total for the same period.
But India’s monthly emissions totals were higher than Europe’s from April through June, when Europe lowered coal-fired power utilization to the lowest since at least 2015 as part of region-wide efforts to permanently curb fossil fuel reliance.
If Europe continues to pare fossil fuel use while India extends its heavy reliance on coal for power, India’s power sector emissions will likely consistently exceed all of Europe’s within the coming years, and emerge as a leading global source of climate-warming pollution.
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