India is indeed walking the green talk

Source: This post is based on the article “India is indeed walking the green talk” published in The Hindu on 31st August 2021.

Relevance: India’s effort to mitigate climate change.

Synopsis: India is doing its part to fulfil its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under Paris Agreement. When compared with other countries, India is doing better than its capacity.

Context

Global pressure is intensifying on India to commit more towards climate change at the Conference of the Parties (COP26) meeting, scheduled for November 2021 in Glasgow.

India’s achievements
  • India is the only G20 nation compliant with the Paris Agreement.
  • It has been ranked within the top 10 for two years consecutively in the Climate Change Performance Index released by Germanwatch.
  • The Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme is the world’s largest zero-subsidy LED bulb programme for domestic consumers.
Comparison of India with other countries
  • With China– According to World Bank data for CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita) over two decades, both China and the U.S. could emit five times more than India in 2030. China is aiming to peak CO2 emissions by 2030 for bending the emissions curve. China remains committed to supporting the coal industry while the rest of the world experiences a decline.
  • With USA–  The U.S. rejoined the Paris Agreement and committed to reducing emissions by 50%-52% in 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050. It will require much more near-term investment than even the U.S. President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure package.
  • With France– Despite the French government’s efforts to make the aviation industry green, the analysts say that no baseline for reducing emissions from domestic flights has been fixed.
  • With Australia– Domestic politics in Australia is keeping it away from fulfilling its commitment towards climate change.
Progress made by India
  • India is on track (as reports/documents show) to meet and exceed the NDC commitment to achieve 40% electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based sources by 2030
  • Similarly, against the voluntary declaration for reducing the emission intensity of GDP by 20%-25% by 2020, India has reduced it by 24% between 2005-2016.
  • India is implementing one of the most extensive renewable energy expansion programmes to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030.
  • As part of the fiscal stimulus, the Government has announced several green measures. It includes a $26.5-billion investment in biogas and cleaner fuels. Further, $3.5 billion in incentives for producing efficient solar photovoltaic (PV) and advanced chemistry cell battery, and $780 million towards an afforestation programme.
  • India provided leadership for setting up the International Solar Alliance, a coalition of solar-resource-rich countries.
  • India is also at the forefront of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, a partnership of governments, United Nations agencies, multilateral development banks, the private sector, and knowledge institutions.

Conclusion

India has indeed walked the talk. Other countries must deliver on their promises early and demonstrate tangible results ahead of COP26. The responsibility of sustaining the entire planet does not rest on a few countries; everyone has to act.

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