Distribution of HDI, energy, emissions and income in India

Collaborators: Andrew Pascale, Paul Lant, Simon Smart and Chris Greig (University of Queensland, Australia)

Working paper: Surprises up the energy ladder

This project investigates the distribution of HDI, energy use, energy access, emissions and income (or expenditure) in India. The project uses the Indian Human Development Surveys (2005 and 2012) for energy use, income and human welfare data and the EORA multi-regional input output tables for the sectoral intensities.

Some preliminary observations (from the abstract of the working paper):

*Results indicate that non-solid fuel use patterns have changed little across India’s income deciles between 2005 and 2012; that total direct household energy use emissions (including non-commercial biomass but not including direct transport emissions) are surprisingly flat across both deciles and years analysed; and that indirect emissions represent the largest CO$_2$ emissions growth area across deciles and study years. While emissions inequality has clearly increased between top and bottom deciles in the seven years between IHDS surveys, overall trends in HDI inequality between deciles are harder to identify.

Results suggest two main areas for consideration. Addressing energy poverty and pressing welfare issues connected to energy use in India, such as household air pollution from solid fuels, can be aided by an apparent emissions neutral transition to modern energy carriers. However, the wealth creation needed to sustain a transition out of energy poverty appears to be accompanied by indirect CO$_2$ emissions growth, especially in the richest deciles. Addressing both of these challenges at the same time requires a coherent strategy that targets energy poverty and wealth creation in the poorest deciles while reducing the emissions intensity of the sectors – notably transportation – of the Indian and global economies supporting increasing household consumption.*

This is about a third of Andrew’s thesis and began with his visit to National Institute of Advanced Studies in April-August 2016.