India’s LT-LEDS: Setting the COP agenda

Source: The post is based on the following articles “Setting the COP agenda” published in the Indian Express on 16th November 2022.

“COP-27: India’s net-zero strategy lays out the challenge before it, and the world” published in the Indian Express on 16th November.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation.

Relevance: About the key takeaways of India’s LT-LEDS.

News: At COP27, India submitted its long-term strategy (LTS) for low carbon development and joined the coveted list of 56 countries that have submitted their LTS.

Must read: India Submits its Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy to UNFCCC
Why India’s LT-LEDS is significant?

India’s announcements at the 26th and 27th Conference Of Parties (COP) are now the pillars of its climate leadership. This is because,

a) COP26 last year was a watershed moment because of the country’s plan to go net-zero by 2070, b) This year’s COP27 will be remembered for India’s path-breaking announcement of a long-term strategy (LTS) for low carbon development.

The LT-LEDS is consistent with India’s net-zero targets and mentions India will need “trillions of dollars” to become carbon-neutral by 2070.

What are the five key takeaways from India’s LT-LEDS?

Sectoral transformations are key: India’s LTS has prioritised six strategic sectors — electricity, transport, urban, industry, carbon dioxide removal(CDR) and forests. Of these, electricity and industry sectors together account for over three-fourths of India’s CO2 emissions.

The focus areas of each sector are, 1) Electricity sector: More renewable power, demand side reductions and a just transition for phase down of coal, 2) Industrial sector: Improve energy efficiency, electrification, material efficiency, green hydrogen and decarbonisation of hard-to-abate sectors, 3) Transport: Transition to cleaner fuels, increase energy efficiency, and aggressive electrification, 4) Urban transition: material efficiency of buildings, 5) CDR: Using methods such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) to remove GHGs before they enter the atmosphere and 6) Forest cover: Protect India’s forest and expand tree cover.

Finance and investments: According to a Council on Energy, Environment and Water assessment, India will need $10 trillion to achieve the 2070 net-zero target. The LTS has gauged the country’s financial requirement, potential sources, the importance of mainstreaming of climate finance and international climate finance, and multilateral arrangements for climate finance flows.

Changes to LiFE: The LTS nudges people to make simple yet effective sustainable choices, industries and markets to scale these, and government policies to support them.

Invest in research and innovation: The LTS notes the relevance of research and innovation, and identifies multiple technologies in the energy and industry sectors.

Adaptation, resilience and international cooperation: India’s 75% of districts are hotspots of extreme weather events. So, the LTS emphasises the a) need for strengthening basic infrastructures like irrigation systems and disaster-resilient buildings, institutional infrastructure for better disaster response, and b) raising incomes to bolster the capabilities of individuals and communities.

Read more: “In our LiFEtime” Campaign launched by India at COP 27, Sharm El-Sheikh
What should be done to improve India’s LT-LEDS further?

a) India’s LT-LEDS only focuses on technology-related innovations. This should be expanded to innovation in business models. b) India should include carbon pricing, and c) India’s LT-LEDS does not specify mid-term targets or goals. So, the strategy should present a mechanism to assess progress towards its intermediate goals and course corrections if necessary.

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