Carbon Footprint

The total Green House Gas (GHG) emission caused by individuals, events, product or service, organization, and nation, is termed as Carbon Footprint. It is typically expressed in terms of Carbon-di-oxide (CO2) equivalent per year.

Key Points for UPSC Prelims

  • This term has been coined out of the concept of ecological footprint, which is the total area required to sustain a population or an activity.
  • Green House Gases like Carbon dioxide and methane are released into the atmosphere as a result of many activities like burning of fuel, construction, industrial activities, agricultural activities, etc.
  • Due to the complexity involved in estimating the contributing factors for GHG, it is difficult to arrive at the exact value of carbon footprint.

UNDP’s Human Development Index takes into account carbon-footprint as a new metric

Recently, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has released the Human Development Index 2020. In this year‘s index, UNDP has included a new metric of carbon footprint to check the impact caused by each country’s per-capita carbon emissions and its material footprint. This is for the first time that this metric has been taken into account.

Norway has topped the Human Development Index 2020 which covered 189 countries. India has fallen by 2 places on the index from the previous year to rank 131.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

It is the global network of development of the United Nations. It promotes investment and technical cooperation among countries; it connects nations to resources, knowledge, and experience in helping them to build a better life. It was formed in the year 1955 and is headquartered in New York. At present, UNDP operates in 177 countries.

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