Drivers of change in India’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions during 1990-2017

India is striving to achieve its climate mitigation goal of reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity of the economy by 33-35% by 2030 from 2005 levels. The energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are more than three-fourth of the total GHG emissions in the country. The drivers of energy-related CO2 emissions are often analysed to help countries track their climate change mitigation goals. There is limited evidence on the factors driving changes in India’s emissions in the past two decades. In this study, the drivers of change in India’s energy-related CO2 emissions during 1990-2017 are examined using index decomposition technique under the Kaya identity framework. The trends in the Kaya factors show decarbonisation of India’s economic output during 1990-2017, mainly driven by decoupling between economic growth and energy consumption. The decarbonisation of the energy supply is not found to be significant during the study period. Decomposition analysis of annual changes shows a positive contribution of population and income in the change in emissions during the entire study period. In some of the years of low economic growth, the energy intensity effect contributed to the increase in emissions. The decomposition analysis of aggregate changes shows that net increase in emissions during 1990-2005 is not significant due to offset by energy intensity effect. The emissions increased sharply during 2005-2010 due to a positive contribution of energy intensity effect. The net increase in emissions during 2010-15 and 2015-17 is low again due to the offset by energy intensity effect.