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Relating Emissions of Carbon to Characteristics of Consumption in India

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2018, pp 255-275
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d5.0185
Madhumati Dutta , Pragya Gupta
Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, 711103 Howrah, India


In order to determine how the average Indian’s emissions may be reduced, one needs to understand the consumption basket and the implications of various categories of household consumption (such as cereals or durables) on emissions. With this in mind, this paper looks at consumption choices in India and calculates per capita carbon dioxide emissions of the different categories of consumption during 1987-1988 to 2007-2008. It is seen that both the increase in per person consumption and a change in the product basket have led to an increase in emissions per person. Further, the urban or higher class Indian emits more, not only because he consumes more of everything (compared, respectively, to the rural or lower class Indian), but also because of differences in the composition of consumption. Four products/product groups – fuel for cooking, fuel for lighting, durables and housing – are further explored to identify several problem products.

Keywords: Carbon emissions, Consumption, Expenditure, Product groups, Consumer groups, India.

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