Two Asian economic powerhouses – India and China – will account for more than half of the world’s total transport-related emissions by 2030, says a new report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). “Transport-related emissions are expected to increase by 57 percent worldwide between 2005 and 2030, with China and India accounting for more than half,” said the fifth edition of the global environment outlook (GEO5) published two weeks before the Rio Earth summit (which begins on June 23).
The report also asked both the countries to improve their environmental footprint. It said that high growth witnessed in the both the countries in the past decade created high level of environment pressures. “China and India will need to improve their annual production efficiency by about 2.9 and 2.2 percents, respectively. Otherwise, these two economies alone will appropriate approximately 37 percent of the projected increase in global environmental footprint by 2015,” said the report.
“Air pollution is one of the main causes of premature deaths and health problems, especially among children,” said the report.
“Data compilation is extremely poor in India and little attention is given in this area. Because we don’t have enough monitoring mechanism, the policymakers can’t formulate exact prescription of the problem,” said Leena Srivastava, executive director of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).The report mentioned that Asia-Pacific countries will contribute 45 percent of energy related CO2 emissions by 2030. “Synergy between environment and development is rather disappointing,” said Chandrashekhar Dasgupta, fellow, TERI. He added, “Trade competitiveness concerns have displaced environment concerns.”
The report also came down heavily on the international goals and objectives. On assessing 90 of the most-important environmental goals and objectives, the report found that significant progress has been made only in four. “The four goals are eliminating the production and use of substances that deplete the ozone layer, removal of lead from fuel, increasing access to improved water supplies and boosting research to reduce pollution of the marine environment,” the report said.
There has been no progress made in goals like climate change, desertification and drought around the world, it added.
The report, however, praised India on successfully phasing out consumption of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), carbon tetrachloride (CTSs) and halons, except in the use of respiratory ailments.
Read the full report
The companion report, measuring progress: environmental goals and gaps
Keeping track of our changing environment: from Rio to Rio+20