India’s long-term strategy to transition to a ‘low emissions’ pathway involves more nuclear power, more ethanol

Source– The post is based on the article “India’s long-term strategy to transition to a ‘low emissions’ pathway involves more nuclear power, more ethanol” published in The Hindu on 15th November 2022.

Syllabus: GS3- Environment

Relevance: Climate change

News– The article explains India’s long-term strategy to transition to a “low emissions” pathway at the United Nations Conference of Parties ongoing in Sharm el-Sheikh.

What is the recent long term strategy announced by India?

It is premised on expanding its nuclear power capacity by at least three-fold in the next decade. There is focus on becoming an international hub for producing green hydrogen and increasing the proportion of ethanol in petrol.

The LT-LEDS (Long Term-Low Emission Development Strategy) has been prepared in the framework of India’s right to an equitable and fair share of the global carbon budget. The strategy emphasises energy security, energy access, and employment, while keeping focus on our vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

The journey to net-zero is five-decade-long. India’s vision is therefore evolutionary and flexible.It accommodates new technological developments and developments in the global economy and international cooperation.

The LT-LEDS are qualitative in nature. It is a requirement emanating from the 2015 Paris Agreement.

LTS says that the transition to low carbon development pathway will entail several costs pertaining to the development of new technologies, new infrastructure, and other transaction costs. The cost of transition falls generally in the range of trillions of dollars by 2050.

Provision of climate finance by developed countries will play a very significant role. It needs to be considerably enhanced, in the form of grants and concessional loans, ensuring scale, scope and speed. It should be predominantly from public sources, in accordance with the principles of the UNFCCC.

What is the strategy adopted by India to achieve net zero targets?

India aspires to maximise the use of electric vehicles. It aims for ethanol blending to reach 20% by 2025 which is currently 10% .

India will also focus on improving energy efficiency by the Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme, the National Hydrogen Mission, increasing electrification, enhancing material efficiency; recycling and ways to reduce emissions.

India’s forest and tree cover act as a net carbon sink absorbing 15% of CO2 emissions in 2016. Also,the country is on track to fulfilling its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) commitment of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of additional carbon sequestration in forest and tree cover by 2030.

India’s most updated NDC commits to ensuring half its electricity is derived from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. It aims at reducing the emissions intensity by 45% below 2005 levels by 2030.

What is the way forward for LTS?

India’s long-term strategy (LTS) can guide the growth of Indian industry, urban planning, and infrastructure creation.

India needs to create a legal or institutional framework to pursue policies based on its long-term goal.

LTS should include carbon pricing through a domestic emissions trading scheme as a key element of India’s strategy, given that the government has already announced the creation of the same in India.

Provision of climate finance by developed countries will play a very significant role. It needs to be considerably enhanced, in the form of grants and concessional loans.

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