India’s Proposed COP21 Climate Plan Will Triple Emissions By 2030

Guest essay by By Paul Homewood



BERLIN: India said on Thursday that it would increase the share of clean energy in its total energy mix by as much as 40%, by the target year of 2030.

While submitting its 38-page ‘climate action plan’ to a UN body in Bonn, Germany, India added that it would fight climate change by taking the energy efficiency route and by substantially reducing its ’emission intensity’, which is measured by the amount of carbon emissions per unit of GDP.

“India’s goal is to reduce overall emission intensity and improve energy efficiency of its economy over time and at the same time protecting the vulnerable sectors of economy and segments of our society.”

The ‘Climate Action Plan’ of individual countries is called the ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contribution’ (INDC), in climate-change negotiation parlance. India met the ‘informal’ deadline of October 1, for submission of its INDC.


What does this all mean, when we take away the smoke and the mirrors. The following points stand out:

  • No actual CO2 target has been set.
  • Although the talk is of “increase the share of clean energy in its total energy mix by as much as 40%”, when you get down to the small print, as we will shortly, the commitment is only to 40% of capacity, and not generation. As we know, renewables give very poor utilisation, so the amount generated will be much, much less than 40%.
  • Also, this 40% is not of its total energy mix, as reported, but only of electricity mix.
  • Commitment is given about reducing carbon intensity of GDP, but nearly half of this has already been achieved since 2005. As we have seen with China, maturing economies tend to grow away from energy intensive industries.


I have analysed below the actual plan, which is linked in the Times article under India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution.

First, the government outlines the economic and social background:




And now for the nitty gritty! Electricity demand will more than triple by 2030, if all these needs are to be met.



Emissions Intensity v GDP

Plan commits India to a reduction in the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33% by 2030, but this is from 2005 levels.



The Plan tells us that energy intensity of GDP has already fallen by about 17% since 2005. It does not specifically mention emissions, as opposed to energy, but as wind/solar power are still only producing less than 2% of India’s total energy, according to BP, it is reasonable to assume that emissions intensity has fallen by a similar amount.



This therefore means that the commitment entails a further reduction from now of about 19%. (We have to assume some interchangeability between 2012 and 2014 numbers)

We can therefore do some sums!


2014 2030
GDP at 2011 prices

Trillion rupees

106 397
CO2 million tonnes

per BP

CO2 million tonnes

assuming intensity


CO2 million tonnes

with 19% reduction



Put simply, if the Indian economy grows as planned, we can expect CO2 emissions to be three times as high in 2030 than they are now. Global emissions are currently 35498 million tonnes.


Renewable Generation

What about the commitment to increase renewable capacity?




Pages 9 and 10 give some clues as to how this will be achieved, basically:

  • Increasing wind capacity to 100 GW, currently at 23 GW.
  • Solar increasing from 3 GW to 100 GW
  • Nuclear from 4 GW to 63 GW.
  • Talk of increasing the efficiency of hydro and biomass, but little likelihood of a significant extra contribution.

Again, let us do the sums:

Based on current capacity utilisations, this capacity configuration would yield this sort of generation:












Wind 19 38 100 166
Solar 16 4 100 140
Hydro 30 120 46 120
Bio 15 5 10 13

Sub Total

167 256 439
Nuclear 70 8 63 386
Others 1033 1674
TOTAL 1208 2499

NB –  There is a disconnect between the above current generation numbers, which derive from BP but are also supported by the EIA, and the Indian government figure of 776 TWh given in their Plan for “demand”. This may be related to transmission losses and other distribution problems. If, of course, their lower figure is correct, my generation assumption for 2030 would be underestimated, and consequently the fossil fuel balancing figure would need to be higher.


On these numbers, although renewables share of total generation would increase from 14% to 17%, the “others” figure, ie fossil fuels, would increase by 62%, simply to meet the extra demand.

It is also worth noting that the planned expansion in nuclear will contribute more extra generation than renewables do.



There is, of course, a bill attached to all of this!





Or $166 billion a year!


I expect this Plan will be lauded by the BBC and the like, but the reality is that India desperately need to increase both its electrical capacity and total energy consumption by large amounts in coming years if its economy is to grow and help reduce poverty levels, not to mention a rapidly expanding population.

Most of this extra power cannot be supplied by inefficient and unreliable renewables, though they do have a role to play in remote rural areas.

Even with mammoth climate aid payments from the West, India’s CO2 emissions will likely treble by 2030. Moreover, there is absolutely no commitment, or for that matter likelihood, that there will be any drop in those emissions after 2030.





BP Energy Review


International Energy Statistics from the EIA,&syid=2008&eyid=2012&unit=BKWH

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October 3, 2015 6:56 am

They are all swapping to VW’s…….

K. Kilty
Reply to  Latitude
October 3, 2015 8:37 am

Meanwhile the AP reports that a “study” has determined the VW emissions gimmick has real consequences–real consequences, I tell you. Somewhere between 4 and 10 people have died because of the increased emissions. This are calculated deaths, of course, can’t actually point to an obituary.

Shub Niggurath
October 3, 2015 6:58 am

If this plan is lauded by the BBC, they should be allowed to. While it is tempting to hold climate alarmists to their own word, one has only think for a moment to realise what a disaster that would be.
All non-binding committments should be welcomed, and if the alarmists hype them as substantial victories, we must be ready to accept them. The alternative is catastrophe.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Shub Niggurath
October 3, 2015 2:56 pm

That’s right, it’s all about seeming and feeling.

Reply to  Shub Niggurath
October 4, 2015 1:04 am

I think so too. India should be allowed to look after it’s own before it is forced to drink from the poisoned chalice that is CAGW.
Cheap, reliable, power is the best way to raise it’s people out of their poverty.

Bruce Cobb
October 3, 2015 7:16 am

The check is in the mail.

October 3, 2015 7:20 am

All of the developing and lesser developed nations are being creative with their non-binding targets in their INDC submissions; and why not, they are simply casting the net for Dollars, Euro’s, and Pounds.

Reply to  kokoda
October 3, 2015 10:12 am

Here is an observation from 2013. Such slow progress! It’s like running a treadmill. The effort is there, but no mileage gained – as at 2012

Roger Pielke Jr – 9 July 2013
“Clean Energy Stagnation
Growth in Renewables Outpaced by Fossil Fuels
The world was moving faster towards reducing its reliance on carbon intensive energy consumption in the 1970s and 1980s than in the past several decades. In fact, over the past 20 years there has been little if any progress in expanding the share of carbon-free energy in the global mix. Despite the rhetoric around the rise of renewable energy, the data tells a far different story……
The figure above shows the proportion of global energy consumption that comes from carbon-free sources. These sources include nuclear, hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass……
However, since 1999 the proportion of carbon-free energy in the global mix has dropped slightly…….”

October 3, 2015 7:27 am

Reminds me of the diet ice cream effect. Ice cream with low fat entice people to eat more ice cream equaling if not surpassing what their fat intake would be if they just stuck with regular ice cream. So India is saying we can eat tons more ice cream since we are using the low fat brand.
The elephant in the room in international CO2 discussions is consumption. No one is forecasting a smaller global population with smaller economies. Energy consumption is increasing and CO2 offsets is the equivalent to stopping floods with a hand full of teacups and two buckets.
The media of course couldn’t see an elephant if a herd of them fell on their heads.

October 3, 2015 7:29 am

And the best part is the people who will judge if they have achieved these targets are…… India itself. So just as well they are meaningless that way they don’t even have to lie.

George E. Smith
Reply to  knr
October 3, 2015 7:39 am

Well they could clean up their place by doing something about those cows. They could get two for one by eating them.

Reply to  George E. Smith
October 3, 2015 11:05 am

But then they’d all have to stone each other to death. Mmmm – that might reduce their emissions.

Reply to  George E. Smith
October 3, 2015 9:11 pm

The cow is a religious symbol and is synonymous with India. The only country I know that allows it’s people to eat national symbols is Australia. Roo and emu are really tasty with a garlic sauce!

October 3, 2015 7:32 am

$166 billion a year!
the problem arises when one asks where the money will come from. As the reverend moon correctly observed, “from wherever it is now”.
the $166 billion a year solution will be proposed by bankers and forced on the rest of us by the politicians in return for lavish contributions to their re-election campaigns.
how will it be sold? forget about taxes. we will be told we are “investing in the future”. the end result will be the same. we will be strung up by the ankles until our pockets are empty and our future has been fully mortgaged.
after all, the average person cannot be trusted with money. they will simply spend it on wine, women and song, and the rest they will spend foolishly. So much better that this money be entrusted to their betters, to the benefit of all.

Reply to  ferdberple
October 3, 2015 6:07 pm

“…after all, the average person cannot be trusted with money. they will simply spend it on wine, women and song…”

There is another way to spend money??

Reply to  ATheoK
October 5, 2015 2:44 am

sure ! guns and cars (or anything with big, big, motor, whether cycle, boat, plane …)

Brett Keane
Reply to  ferdberple
October 4, 2015 9:44 am

Mainly by selling bonds, as we did in NZ and elsewhere (I remember our time doing what India proposes). Then, repaying them from the productivity created by the new power, also damping inflation from the spending on power generators. Go for it, India!!

October 3, 2015 7:51 am

Even now, when the per capita emissions of many developed countries vary between 7 to15 metric tonnes, the per capita emissions in India were only about 1.56 metric tonnes in 2010. This is because Indians believe in nature friendly lifestyle and practices rather than its exploitation.
really? Or is it because hundreds of millions of Indians are dirt poor and cannot afford such luxuries as running water, indoor plumbing, and electricity. Instead they rely on cow dung as their primary energy source?
Consider for a minute that instead of India, one was living In the US or EU, where in a great many cities you would die in winter if you had to heat your house with cow dung. There simply isn’t enough land to feed all the cattle required.
Instead of having 1.2 billion people as in India, cow dung heating would quickly eliminate most of the people in the US and EU, leaving just enough people that they would have enough cow dung to survive the winter.
So in reality, India’s problem results from too mild a climate. Too may people can survive year round using only cow dung as a source of energy, which reduces their per capita emissions. Small amounts of energy divided by lots of people. While in the US and EU, to survive the winter you need lots of energy divided by small numbers of people. Thus the high per capita emissions.

October 3, 2015 8:03 am

Like everyone else they are getting in line for the redistribution of wealth. With the current “plans” China and India alone will account for more CO2 emissions than the rest of the world by 2030 and that rate will exceed today’s level. The fact that the Warmist Cult lauds their efforts is more proof that AGW is all about redistribution of wealth and has nothing to do with catastrophic temperature rise. Back door Socialism for the world.

Reply to  markl
October 3, 2015 8:40 am

Redistribution is being challenged (although I have little confidence in US politicians)

Reply to  Bubba Cow
October 3, 2015 9:06 am

Bubba Cow commented: “…Redistribution is being challenged (although I have little confidence in US politicians). ..”
I share your confidence level in the US politicians but I believe the people will be the deciding factor. So far in the US it’s been taxes on corporations/businesses and meager energy cost hikes for the populace. The people are totally ambivalent to CAGW despite the Green/MSM efforts to spin it into doomsday. Wait until they realize they will be asked to atone for their sin of being successful by forking over big bucks to countries that have failed to join the first world (for whatever reason). You can bet the scrutiny of AGW will have more backing and skeptics will start coming out of the woodwork.

October 3, 2015 8:15 am

India, like China, has made it abundantly clear that they will have nothing to do with CO2 alarmism or Green Monster politics. On the other hand, they have a big play in nuclear power going on. Some observers say they have a full bore Thorium reactor development program running. So what we have is a poor country going full-on development with nuclear and new high efficiency coal plants. The goals now look totally reasonable, and done in a way that will make the greenies scream. The greenie world view on “fossil fuel free” means only wind and solar, as in Europe, is just not going to happen with India.
With all this in the background, India is just making nice, being diplomatic, and playing the conference. It costs them nothing.
The greenies want a CO2-free world.
An ancient Chinese curse is “May you find what you are looking for”
The greenies may one day be shown their new CO2-free energy source, and see that it is highly radioactive when running.

October 3, 2015 8:15 am

To all addressees (UNFCCC / IPCC / NASA) and all the institutions and organizations who advocate Green House Gas idea,
I challenge you all to defend ‘Green House Gas’ stupid idea. The claim is greatest fraud in the history of science. All of YOU stop that nonsense if you have to solve the problem of Climate Change. The problem is not rising temperature but water. Moisture content on the surface of the earth controls temperature and rain cycle. One of the many functions of the atmosphere of the earth is the cooling system; without that property earth would have never been cooler and rain cycle would have been impossible. If it were not the convection current of the air even life on earth is not possible. Now you are all stumbling blog towards overcoming Climate Change. You are all cheating the world and rubbing developing poor countries.
For details search by TITLE: Solutions to Climate Change and Power crisis TURBINES DON’T DECREASE POWER OF RUNNING WATER

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  indrdev200
October 4, 2015 2:35 am

Who told you that? Of course they do! Think for yourself. You did? Then you left out an important detail of physics. We engineers aren’t stupid and had used this principle since long ago if it was a fact. Fortunately it isn’t. It would be perpetuation. You were unable to stop it.

Brett Keane
Reply to  Rainer Bensch
October 4, 2015 9:52 am

Rainer, you miss the point that the power is only stored, then released usefully to us. No change if it just flowed by, but no use to us. Why we have our grey matter, because it thinks of such uses..

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  Rainer Bensch
October 4, 2015 11:32 am

Brett, that isn’t what he means, see

Shub Niggurath
October 3, 2015 8:49 am

It is a wrong perception that countries like India or any of the BRICS are lining up for cash from the COP process. From Rio, developing countries and poor countries have two reasons to participate in the COP process: 1) hope/ambition that the COPs would useful as one more venue to address the long-running pseudo-politics of the so-called Global North vs South, and 2) a fear that decisions would be made on the global stage in their absence.
It is the UN which dangled technology transfers as bait to ease the pain of participation of poor countries in the UNFCCC/COPs. Under the UN system if there is no global participation there is no mandate and therefore a host of hasty un-thought-out contradictory promises and propaganda have been made blindly by climate activists to secure participation. As technology transfer proved sticky, it is the UN that came up with the second bait of cash transfer to ensure participation.
It is likely that countries like India and China make enormous cash demands, which they well know won’t fly with the domestic politics of any Western country, which in turn would act as a breakshoe on its leaders from making loud demands on them, at the (Paris) COP. The message they hope to convey: be happy with the rest of what you will get. Which as we know is an undertaking to reduce per-capita emissions but not total emissions.
India’s per-capita emissions are a paltry 2 ton/capita/year compared to the US, which is ~20/ton/capita/year. There is no room for them reduce anything!

Reply to  Shub Niggurath
October 3, 2015 10:12 pm

Please don´t bracket India with PR China in the CO2 drama as they are in different leagues: same for economic development. you are right to point at India´s minuscule emissions per capita, amongst the lowest on Earth. Even for India´s internal politics, begging for foreign aid is since years out of fashion; private donations or loans are happily accepted if they do not interfere with internal Indian politics.
Can anyone blame India for trying to “energize” its poorest out of the Dark Ages?
Although India hardly emitted much of the historical anthropocentric CO2 emission blob, it obliged to Western Greens demands to help them overcome their own massive historical emissions here. It didn´t have to. China is a different story.

Bryan A
October 3, 2015 9:05 am

There really is only 1 reason to report things on a Per Capita Basis and that is to skew the true usages and production levels. As per capita electricity usage would bear a 30 to 50% usage increase figure if reported as per user rather than per capita as 30% of the population doesn’t have access to electricity. When 30% or user figures = ZERO, it dramatically skews averages

William Astley
October 3, 2015 9:20 am

Scary numbers
‘Scary numbers’ are basic economic and engineering facts that are covered up, ignored, or factgated to eliminate that support the assertion that spending trillions of dollars on green scams that do not work (significantly reduce the amount of CO2 emissions if the energy to construct the green scam and the reduction in grid efficiency is included) is cult madness, an insane waste of trillions of dollars.
The insanity is doubled as every developed country is now running an unsustainable debt. We have not acknowledged the fact that we have run out of government money to spend on everything, so there is no money to waste on green scams that do not work. (See quantitative easing and zero interest rates. Japan is the leader in the race to economic collapse.) The cost of government if health ‘care’ costs are included is growing uncontrollably.

“We’re especially disappointed to not see a concrete renewable target,” said Pujarini Sen from Greenpeace India.
“They are talking about 40% of electric power coming from non-fossil sources by 2030. This is not 40% renewable energy, it includes nukes, it includes large dams.” (William: i.e. The Indian plan includes power sources which work rather than green scams.)
The plan says that India’s transition will cost $2.5 trillion, a “scary number” according to one observer. (William: India is ignoring the green scam play book. The $2.5 trillion dollar estimate of costs to build nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams is based on basic estimating principals as opposed to a cult of CAGW ‘estimate’.)
It is unclear how much of this money will come from India’s own resources and how much from the international community and investment.
In their written submission, India’s proposed climate actions appear to be contingent on getting much of this money from richer countries: “The successful implementation of INDC is contingent upon an ambitious global agreement including additional means of implementation to be provided by developed country parties.”
Developed countries have committed to $100bn funding for developing countries to deal with climate change by 2020, but India’s environment minister suggested the bill was going to a lot bigger than that.
“I am telling the world that the bill for climate action for the world is not just $100bn, it is in trillions of dollars per year,” said Prakash Javadekar. (William: OMG. Who would have thought it would cost trillions of dollars per year? Where or where is the money to be found?)
“Countries will take up their own responsibility but the world which is historically responsible for carbon emissions, what we are suffering today, the climate change, they must at least walk the talk on $100bn.”

1) We do not have trillions of dollars to waste on green scams that do not work, to stop a problem which is not a problem.
2) The majority of the warming in the last 150 years has due to solar cycle changes. If that assertion is correct the planet is about to abruptly cool.
Due to fact 1, if the increase in anthropogenic CO2 was a problem the solution would be to build nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams, not to waste trillions of dollars on green scams that do not work.
Due to fact 2, there is no anthropogenic CO2 warming problem to solve.

October 3, 2015 9:54 am

Indoor air pollution is a major killer in India, the AGW crowd should be reminded of this fact, when they try to prevent countries like India from developing the electricity and gas infrastructure that would save thousands of lives:

October 3, 2015 10:26 am

I for one dont think we should begrudge India to being able to better supply their poor with clean efficient energy. And I think it laudable that they should be considering how cleanly they can provide this. It should also provide their economy with the means to compete for a fair share of the worlds markets.
However I dont agree that we should pay them to be come even more competitive than they are now whilst increasing the expense of our own production. I suppose they are only following Chinas lead. How they must be laughing their socks off at how we are falling over each other to see who can become the least competitive the quickest

October 3, 2015 10:33 am

It did not take the BBC long to wheel out the propaganda!
It says it aims to generate 40% of electricity from non-fossil fuel sources, mainly solar and wind.
The Plan specifically states “40% of installed capacity”, not generation. Wind & solar are so inefficient that they will probably contribute little more than 10% to total generation.

October 3, 2015 10:55 am

[…] India added that it would fight climate change by taking the energy efficiency route
No offence to India but just how does one measure the energy efficiency of ‘units’ that currently have no access to energy?
Let me guess here that there will be a model involved. A model that ‘proves’ that if, theoretically, a typical Indian ‘unit’ (eventually) has access to ‘Western’ type energy sources and they all, theoretically do xyz to reduce their ‘carbon footprint’ thereafter then the ‘CO2 savings” will be theoretically significant. Theoretically speaking.

Stephen Richards
October 3, 2015 11:25 am

The massive increase in CO² in the next 10 yrs and beyond could be just what is needed to prove conclusively to all and sundry that CO² is not THE climate driver.

October 3, 2015 1:39 pm

Government “commitments” for 15 years from now are meaningless.

October 3, 2015 9:08 pm

There are more billionaires in India than in any other country. This is set to increase dramatically it seems. More very rich people in a poor country protected in secure gated communities while the poor go hungry and cold. Already happening right now.

October 3, 2015 11:23 pm

Smoke, mirrors and deliberate misdirection from all vested interest parties. (ie India, IPCC, activists, media etc)
The bottom line is that due to a rapidly expanding population and thus an equally rapidly expanding economy, in absolute terms India’s use of fossil fuels and therefore ‘carbon emissions’ will absolutely skyrocket. Therefore the so-called ‘deal’ is completely meaningless.

Reply to  cheshirered
October 4, 2015 1:09 am

Not to those on the receiving end of this, obvious, wealth redistribution. Just ask anyone who works (Worked rather) in IT in Australia where their jobs are going. And the Govn’t and the companies assure us that our personal data will be protected. Yeah right! About as protected as low hanging fruit when swinging a bat!

October 4, 2015 6:05 am

Can someone explain in simple terms what is meant by “energy intensity”?

October 4, 2015 7:38 am

The amount of energy per unit of GDP output.
Basically efficiency.

Reply to  J
October 4, 2015 9:06 am

I understand that they are using “intensity” as a weasel word but what would they use if they were being honest? How does “intensity” obscure what they are trying to imply versus what they are actually going to do?

October 5, 2015 6:57 am

They read this in India, quotes from Paul’s article:
“It is very unfortunate that the Modi government has succumbed to bullying tactics of western climate propaganda machines and devised a plan which is impractical and difficult to implement. Reality will soon dawn and the rosy projections will be exposed for what they really are. Like Pachauri’s projections of a meltdown of Himalayan glaciers.”

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