India is the second population giant in the region, and another HDD country. Unlike China, Figure
11 (a) shows that DMC per capita in 2008 remained low, less than half of either World or Asia-
averages, and roughly equal to the level reached by China in 1987. Significantly, the relatively
subdued growth trend for DMC per capita displayed up until 2005 moved to a markedly faster rate
from 2005 to 2008, with any visible impact from the onset of the GFC limited to a slight moderation
of the new, higher growth regime from 2007-2008. Growth in DMC per capita over the full period
1970-2008 is almost entirely accounted for by growth in construction minerals and fossil fuels, with
per capita consumption of biomass remaining roughly static since 1990. Consumption of metal ores
and industrial minerals remained at very low levels (about 0.2 tonnes per capita), but from 1998 to
2008, it grew at a compounding annual rate of 8.6% p.a., compared to only 2.8% p.a. from 1970
to 2008. This would be consistent with India entering a rapid acceleration phase of its transition
to an industrialized economy. India has required steadily increasing net imports of fossil fuels per
capita since the mid 1980s, both in total fossil fuel PTB per capita, and as a share of fossil fuel DMC.
Between 1985 and 2008, net imports of fossil fuels grew from 9% of fossil fuel DMC, to 23%.
A long term decline (improvement) in MI evident in the Indian economy from 1970 appears to have
stopped abruptly around 2004-2005, with static MI since that time. This is an important development,
and not anticipated in the REEO AP report (UNEP 2011). If this trend continues, any continued
gains in economic growth will henceforth translate roughly into proportional increases in extractive
pressures on the environment.
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