Low Carbon Development in China and India
China and India are major players in South-South cooperation and in the transition towards low carbon development. The sustainability of development patterns followed by China and India has significant socio-economic and environmental implications for the two countries as well as globally. China is currently the largest total emitter of greenhouse gases while India is the fourth largest. However, as the first and second most populous countries in the world, per capita output is still relatively low. China, at 7.9 tonnes/capita/year has only recently surpassed global averages, while India’s per capita emission rate of 2.3 tonnes is only a third of the world average.
Though China’s per capita income levels, energy consumption and progress on socio-economic indicators are higher than India, the two countries display similar trends of rising energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions coupled with a decline in energy intensity figures. Both countries are also witnessing structural shifts in their economies with an increasing share of GDP coming from the services and manufacturing sectors. Both are looking to improve research and development and increase innovation. Differences in resource availability and governance structures must also be taken into account when developing energy and environment related policies and options in these two countries.