India’s pledge to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070 is real climate action: Experts

03:37 PM Nov 02, 2021 | PTI |

New Delhi: Environment experts have said India is doing more than most countries, including China, to reduce emissions and its pledge at COP 26 to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070 is ”real climate action”.


Lauding the big promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his national statement on Monday at the 26th international climate conference in Glasgow, they said by making the pledge, India has put the ball in the court of developed nations to fulfill the promise of USD 1 trillion of climate finance.

Climate change activist and director-general of Centre for Science and Environment Sunita Narain said India has laid out its roadmap, and targets of non-fossil fuel, renewable energy (RE), and reduction of carbon intensity are all pathways to get one billion tonnes carbon emission reduction by 2030.

“RE target of 50 percent, non-fossil fuel 500 GW; carbon intensity of 45 percent are all pathways to get to 1 billion tonnes carbon emission reduction by 2030. India has laid out its roadmap; this is more than OECD and certainly what China has done. India enhanced NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) is a challenge to the world to step up,” she tweeted.

“We will reduce 1 billion tonnes by 2030; per capita will be 2.31 tonnes/as against US 9.4 t/per capita and China 9 t/per capita. No question that this is running the talk,” Narain tweeted.


She, however, said to limit the 1.5-degree temperature rise, the world will have to go net-zero by 2050.

“For the world to go net-zero by 2050, China should go by 2040 and OECD countries by 2030. This is why net-zero is inequitable and makes combatting climate change unambitious and ineffective. We deserve better,” Narain tweeted.

Founder of Council on Energy, Environment, and Water Arunabha Ghosh said, “I want to congratulate PM Modi and India for making a bold statement for low-carbon development. India has clearly put the ball in the court of the developed world. This is real climate action.”

“Now, India demands USD 1 trillion of climate finance as soon as possible and will monitor not just climate action but deliver climate finance. Most importantly, India has called, once again, for a change in lifestyles. If we cannot fix how we live, we cannot fix the planet on which we live,” Ghosh said.

In a similar response, Aarti Khosla, Director, Climate Trends, said, “By announcing a commitment for achieving net-zero targets by 2070, India has responded positively to the global call and it was the best climate action in Glasgow today.”

“The commitment of 500GW of renewable energy by 2030, which is more than twice the installed capacity of coal currently, should set the stage for a quick transformation of the energy sector, the kind of which hasn’t been witnessed so far. Ensuring that the new energy regime doesn’t bring the pitfalls of the current regime will be fundamental. Solar and wind are poised to emerge as the future in the net-zero world,” she said.

Prime Minister Modi, in his address at the ongoing COP 26 announced a bold pledge on Monday that India will achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070 and asserted that it is the only country that is delivering in ”letter and spirit” the commitments on tackling climate change under the Paris Agreement.

He also raised the NDC of achieving 450 GW non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW, among other commitments, including reducing carbon emissions.

Ajay Mathur, director-general, International Solar Alliance, said reducing one billion tonnes of emissions by 2030 and expanding non-fossils capacity to 500 GW are enormous and transformative steps.

“PM Modi cut through the rhetoric and delivered a big promise of climate action from India. Reducing 1 billion tonnes of emissions by 2030 and expanding non-fossil capacity to 500 GW are enormous and transformative steps.

“Fifty percent of electricity generation from renewable energy sources speaks to India’s leadership and commitment to climate action. The Prime Minister has made bold announcements and led India from the front at the onset of the Glasgow meeting,” he said.

Congratulating the PM for the bold announcements, Chandra Bhushan, CEO, iForest, said these steps will go a long way in solving the climate crisis.

“India’s announcement of an ambitious 2030 target and a net-zero target is a big step for climate collaboration. I congratulate the PM for announcing this bold step which will go a long way in greening the Indian economy and solving the climate crisis,” he said.

Sharing a similar view, Vaibhav Chaturvedi, Fellow, CEEW, said that by announcing the net-zero year, the PM has also accorded a red carpet to foreign and domestic investors who want to invest in research and development, manufacturing, and deployment of green technologies in India.

Ravi Singh, Secretary-General and CEO, WWF India termed India’s five key commitments made the COP 26 as a “bold stand” which is a pathway towards low carbon development.

“PM Modi has taken a bold stand in spelling out India’s commitments and global leadership at COP26. Together, the five commitments highlighted by the PM indicate India’s position and pathway in moving towards low carbon development and reducing climate vulnerability for its people,” he said.

PM Modi has announced India’s updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) at COP 26, the first time since 2015.

In 2015, India had committed to achieving 40 percent of all installed electricity generation capacity to be from non-fossil energy sources by 2030.

As per the new NDC, 50 percent of electricity generation will come from renewable energy sources by 2030 and the target of achieving 450 GW non-fossil energy capacity has been increased to 500 GW by 2030.

For the first time, India announced the target of achieving net-zero emission by 2070 and that it will reduce carbon emissions by one billion tonnes by 2030. These were not a part of the 2015 NDCs.


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