India should reduce dependency on fossil fuels: Survey

PTI  | Deccan Chronicle

Business, Economy

Govt will now shift focus to implementing Paris agreement on climate change it signed in December 2015.

Representational image.

New Delhi: Government should take steps to bring down the country's reliance on fossil fuels below the level of other countries and continue to be a good global citizen on climate change, the Economic Survey said today.

India, which signed Paris agreement on climate change in December 2015, will now shift its focus to implementing the pacts, it said. On India's fossil fuel use from long-term perspective, the Survey said that so far the country's reliance on fossil fuels remains "well below" China and also below the US, the UK and Europe at comparable stages of development.

"Going forward, of course, India needs to bend the curve to ensure that its reliance on fossil fuels declines and keeping it below the level of other countries so that its good global citizenship on climate change can continue," it said.

On pricing of carbon to tackle climate change, the Survey said since June 2014, when international oil prices started declining, India has increased its excise duties from Rs 15.5 per litre to Rs 22.7 per litre as of December 2016 for branded petrol and from Rs 5.8 per litre to Rs 19.7 per litre for branded diesel.

When compared with other G-20 nations, the results are striking. The increase in petrol tax has been over 150 per cent in India, it said. In contrast, the governments of most advanced countries have simply passed on the benefits to consumers, setting back the cause of curbing climate change.

"As a result, India now outperforms all the countries except those in Europe in terms of tax on petroleum and diesel," the Survey noted.

Having decisively moved from a regime of carbon subsidies, it is now de facto imposing a carbon tax on petroleum products at about USD 150 per tonne, which is about 6 times greater than the level recommended by the Stern Review on Climate Change, it added.