India is placed at the top in emissions resulting from crop burning, accounting for 13 per cent of total emissions worldwide for the 2015-2020 period, a new report released by climate tech startup Blue Sky Analytics revealed.
Blue Sky Analytics, also part of the global coalition "Climate TRACE", was founded by an IIT alumnus. It pointed to an increase in emissions due to cropland fire emissions in 2019-2020 by 12.8 per cent, taking the country's global contribution to 12.2 per cent.
According to the data, new insights into recent trends in biomass fires, including emissions from forest and crop residue fires in India, revealed a downward trend in crop fires between 2016-2019, citing a reduction in the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to cropland fires by 11.39 per cent in the said period.
Climate TRACE is a global coalition to pace climate action by providing independent high-resolution and near-real-time (GHG) emissions data. Its innovative approach fills critical knowledge gaps for all nations that depend on the patchwork system of self-reporting, presently serving as the basis for most existing emissions inventories.
"It is important to have an independent, system-level view of emissions for effective climate action. This is especially critical for sources like fires, which are rapidly rising in frequency and scale, but whose emissions are not tracked properly and accounted for in most multi-sector inventories," said Abhilasha Purwar, an IIT alumnus and the founder and CEO of Blue Sky Analytics, according to The Hindu.
Emissions Caused By Human Activities And Wildlife Activity
As per Blue Sky Analytics, the emission cover both fires by human activities, which includes burning in forests for conversion to agricultural land or of crop residues and wildfire activity, producing a comprehensive picture of fire emissions.
By combining different satellite data sources for active fire identification and characteristics with higher resolution global land cover maps, these estimates supplement the current country-level reporting methods, which rely on seasonal estimations and ground measurements of the burned space.
"For a long time, climate action has been hampered by a lack of independent, verifiable data on emissions. Climate TRACE is built on the notion that we can only manage what we can measure," former US vice-president and Climate TRACE coalition convening member Al Gore said.
"We are helping to create a level-playing field for everyone who wants to take an active role in reducing emissions- from ministers and regulators to business leaders and inventors to journalists and activists. This new era of radical transparency will put everything out to public," he said.