India is set to overtake the United States as the world’s biggest polluter, and is set for a new global leadership in climate change as the country prepares to embark on its first ever clean energy target.

India is set in 2019 to become the biggest pollator by emissions from fossil fuels, the World Bank said on Thursday, with more than 50 per cent of its total emissions coming from fossil fuel burning.

That will add up to more than $1 trillion (1.1 trillion euros) of cumulative emissions in the next 10 years, with the world on track to exceed its peak of emissions by 2050.

India, which is India’s largest polluter by emissions, will have a net carbon footprint equivalent to the entire output of China by 2020, the world body said.

India has committed to reducing emissions by 20 per cent from its 1990 levels by 2030 and will meet its pledge of curbing carbon emissions to 28 per cent by 2030, compared with its target of 31 per cent, the bank said.

The world will also be on track for the lowest carbon intensity growth of any country by 2020 compared with 2020, with emissions expected to drop by more than 20 per to 30 per cent.

China, by contrast, is set on achieving its target to curb emissions by as much as 80 per cent compared with 2030.

India will be the world leader in carbon intensity, with China accounting for 60 per cent in 2020 and India 33 per cent to 30, the finance ministry said in a statement.