COP26 | PM’s Modi word: Net Zero 2070, clean & green 2030

Synopsis: India has made significance announcements at the ongoing COP26 meeting, including a target year for reaching net zero. Now the ball is in the developed world’s court wrt climate finance wherein India expects developed countries to provide $1 trillion at the earliest.

What has been India’s track record wrt its efforts on climate change?

Today India is at number four in the world in installed renewable energy capacity. India’s non-fossil fuel energy has reached 40% of our energy mix.

India’s railway system has set itself a target of making itself ‘Net Zero’ by 2030. This initiative alone will lead to a reduction of 60 million tonnes of emissions annually.

Similarly, India’s massive LED bulb campaign is reducing emissions by 40 million tonnes annually.

India has also given institutional solutions to cooperate with the world at the international level. It initiated the International Solar Alliance. It also created a coalition for disaster resilient infrastructure (CDRI) for climate adaptation.

What are the new announcements made by India at Glasgow?

India made five big-ticket announcements terming them as ‘Panchamrit’, at the climate change meeting in Glasgow:

First– India will reach its non-fossil energy capacity to 500GW (India had earlier extended its target to 450GW out of which 100GW is already installed) by 2030.

Second– India will meet 50% of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030.

Third– India will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now onwards till 2030. India’s emissions are rising, at about 4 to 5% every year. So the total emissions between now and 2030 is expected to be in the range of about 40 billion tonne. It is in this amount, that a one billion tonne reduction has been announced.

Fourth– By 2030, India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by less than 45%.

Fifth By the year 2070, India will achieve the target of Net Zero.

Note: ‘Panchamrita’ is a traditional method of mixing five natural foods — milk, ghee, curd, honey and jaggery. These are used in Hindu and Jain worship rituals. It is also used as a technique in Ayurveda.

What is LIFE?

India has also given the idea of LIFE at Glasgow.

LIFE is shorthand for Lifestyle For Environment Today which entails the need for all of us to come together, together with collective participation, to take Lifestyle For Environment (LIFE) forward as a campaign.

Comparison of announcements made by India at Paris and Glasgow
SectorParis (COP21)Glasgow (COP26)
Emission intensity of GDPReduction by 33%–35% by 2030 below 2005 levelsReduction by less than 45% by 2030 below 2005 levels
Share of renewable energy in India’s total energy generationIncreasing the share of renewable energy to 40% by 2030.Increasing the share of renewable energy to 50% by 2030.
Carbon sinkTo create an additional (cumulative) carbon sink of 2.5–3 GtCO2e through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.No new announcement.
Why are the latest announcements by India at Glasgow important?

The latest announcements assume significance since this is is the first time India has taken any climate target in terms of absolute emissions.

Before this, the closest reference to altering its emissions trajectory used to be in the form of emissions intensity.

This is because under the international climate change architecture, only developed countries are mandated, and expected, to make reductions in their absolute emissions.

Source: This post is based on the following articles:

‘National Statement by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at COP26 Summit in Glasgow’ published in PIB on 1st Nov 2021

‘PM’s Modi word: Net Zero 2070, clean & green 2030’ published in The Indian Express on 2nd Nov 2021

‘India sets net-zero climate goal by 2070’ published in The Livemint on 2nd Nov 2021

‘CoP26 summit | India will achieve net zero emissions by 2070, says PM Modi’ published in The Hindu on 1st Nov 2021

‘CoP26: Modi offers ‘Panchamrita’ concoction for climate conundrum at Glasgow’ published in Down to Earth on 2nd Nov 2021

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