India’s near-term climate targets – Current performance and future expectations

India has declared multiple near-term climate targets to be achieved by 2030 for itself at COP26 at Glasgow. Are they too ambitious? India’s performance on these goals till now and how achievable are these targets?

Target 1: Take India’s non-fossil energy capacity to 500GW

Presently installed power capacity is 388GW.

Out of this, 150GW is from renewable sources, including hydroelectric power. It took seven years to double the capacity from 2014.

Now, to achieve the new target of 500GW, India needs to add 350GW in nine years i.e. addition of double the capacity in less than five years.

Target 2: Meet 50% of energy requirement from renewable energy

Today, India produces 24% of the electricity generation from renewable sources. To go from 24% to 50% in nine years is a challenge, as it would require quadrupling of renewable power generation in a decade.

Target 3: Reduce total projected carbon emissions by 1bn tonnes

This amounts to about 3% absolute reduction.

To put this in context, industrialised countries reduced emissions by only 3.7% during 1990-2019.

Target 4: Reduce carbon intensity of its economy by less than 45%

In the Paris agreement, India planned to reduce the intensity by 35% (from 2005 levels) by 2030. In Glasgow 2021, India announced that it will cut the carbon intensity by 45% of 2005 levels by 2030.

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