Vehicles traveling along a road as a train traveling along a section of an elevated track are shrouded in smog in Delhi, India, on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. Air pollution levels skyrocketed in New Delhi and left India's capital shrouded in toxic smog as millions of Indians set off firecrackers for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. Toxic air is estimated to kill more than 1 million Indians each year, according to the nonprofit Health Effects Institute. Photographer: Ruhani Kaur/Bloomberg Image Credit: Bloomberg

For the first time in nearly 40 years, toxic carbon emissions have fallen in India and the country’s coronavirus lockdown has a big part to play.

According to an analysis released on May 12, by researchers at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), decreased electricity use and competition from renewable energy sources like wind and solar power have had an impact on demand for fossil fuels in the last year.

However, the unexpected lockdown imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak, is what changed India's 37-year emissions growth trend the most.

The data highlights an ongoing international trend that in 2020, the world is expected to witness a largest yearly global decline ever in emissions, BBC reported.

According to the analysis, CO2 emissions in the country fell by around 15 per cent in March, and are likely to have fallen by 30 per cent last month, as compared to last year.

Using the latest consumption data for coal, oil and gas, the analysts concluded that CO2 emissions fell by 30 million tonnes in the financial year 2019-20 compared to the previous fiscal.

Renewable energy in India

The power and transportation sectors are the biggest contributions to carbon emissions in India, analysts note.

Renewable energy sources in India have had the edge in India because they are proving to produce far cheaper electricity than coal.

The report claims that new solar capacity can cost as little 2.55 INR (Dh0.12) per kilowatt hour, while the average cost for electricity generated from coal is 3.38 INR (Dh0.16) per hour.