India promises new climate crisis target: zero net by 2070 | Latest India News
India will achieve carbon neutrality by 2070, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced as part of a five-point action plan that included reducing emissions to 50% by 2030, making the pledge most daring on Monday at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, where he also urged developed countries to keep their climate finance pledge.
This is the first time India has committed to net zero emissions, a particularly difficult target for developing countries that need to balance their commitment to economic growth. India, Modi said, was the only major economy to have honored its commitments under the Paris Agreement âin letter and in spiritâ.
“By 2070, India will reach the goal of net zero emissions,” the prime minister told more than 120 leaders during the critical talks. He added four other commitments: the country will increase its non-fossil fuel supply capacity to 500 gigawatts (GW) by the end of the decade, from 450 GW; half of India’s energy will come from renewable sources by 2030; India’s carbon intensity target for 2030 – measured as carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product – will increase from 35% to 45%; and the country will also strive to produce half of its electricity using renewables and cut carbon dioxide emissions by a billion tonnes from the status quo by 2030.
But Modi reiterated that rich countries must increase their contributions to help less developed countries decarbonize. âIndia expects the developed countries of the world to make $ 1 trillion available for climate finance as soon as possible,â Modi said. “Justice would demand that nations that have broken their climate commitments come under pressure … climate finance cannot lag behind climate action.”
India has the lowest per capita emissions of the world’s major economies – emitting 5% of the total, while accounting for 17% of the world’s population. In absolute terms, India is the fourth largest emitter of carbon after China and the United States. China has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2060, while the United States and the European Union – as a bloc, the EU countries together account for the third highest volume of emissions – aim to do so by 2050.
India has not yet submitted a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) with these commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
During his speech, Modi was particularly harsh on the measures taken by developed countries. âWe are all aware that the promises made so far on climate finance have turned out to be in vainâ¦ global ambitions related to climate finance cannot be at the same level as they were at the time of the Paris Agreement, âhe said.
âToday, as we track progress on climate change mitigation in the same way, we also need to track climate finance. Justice will truly be served if pressure is brought to bear on countries that have failed to meet their climate finance commitments. For many developing countries, climate change threatens their very existence. We will have to take big steps because it is the need of the hour, âhe added.
Senior officials have said India’s actions will depend on climate finance, which will be made available by developed countries. âWe have a long fight in the next two weeks over climate finance and it will be critical to determine whether India puts this in the NDCs. This will be the biggest negotiating point for us, âsaid a member of the Indian delegation in Glasgow, who asked not to be named.
Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of Environment, said: âAs a leader, the Prime Minister has supported the views and imperatives of all developing countries. He stressed that climate finance and the transfer of new technologies will be essential for the transition â.
Energy experts and environmentalists welcomed India’s submission, saying it balances India’s development needs and also requires more action, especially on funding for historic transmitters.
âIndia has kept the rhetoric on its commitments and has now significantly increased them. The developed world must meet its commitments to finance and technology now. It is good that the imperatives of our development have also been underlined while strengthening our commitments, âsaid Manjeev Singh Puri, former ambassador, climate negotiator and distinguished member of the Energy and Resources Institute.
Experts also said Modi’s announcement is a victory because it matches what scientists believe is necessary to achieve that goal. To prevent temperatures from rising more than 1.5 Â° C, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts the world must reach zero net carbon dioxide emissions by the middle century, then reach net zero for all greenhouse gases by 2070.
âIndia’s commitments are significantly more ambitious than its current NDC,â said Ulka Kelkar of World Resources Institute India, referring to NDCs under the Paris agreement. âThese will bring the country on a low carbon development path and send strong signals to all sectors of industry and society. “
Many developing countries in Asia have announced net zero targets – such as Thailand, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. âThe experience of many European economies over the past 30 years shows that it is possible to achieve sustained economic growth while significantly reducing emissions, even after taking into account consumption and imports. For India too, strong climate action will help reduce air pollution and create new jobs, âKelkar added.
A former senior climate negotiator for India said the country “was under immense pressure to commit to a net zero target from the United States and other developed countries.” âWe all know that. But now 2070 is here and India has shown a direction. It will be encouraged to include it in its NDCs and will be subject to review in accordance with the provisions of the Paris Agreement. At the same time, India could not have been reluctant on the world stage as many countries announce net zero targets. India will therefore need to take this commitment seriously and plan for it. It cannot be conditional on funding alone, âsaid the person, who requested anonymity.
âThis was a very important moment for the summit, with Prime Minister Modi promising stronger action by India on climate change, with five new goals … It demonstrates real leadership, based on a record of action and ambitious goals, which can deliver on the economic development and climate change, of a country whose per capita emissions represent about a third of the world average. The rich world must respond to Prime Minister Modi’s challenge to sharply increase international climate finance, âsaid Lord Stern of Brentford, president of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Several world leaders have spoken up to press time, each intensifying doomsday rhetoric. For British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, global warming was “an apocalyptic device” attached to humanity. United Nations Secretary-General AntÃ³nio Guterres has said people are “digging our own graves” and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, speaking on behalf of vulnerable island nations, has warned leaders not to âLet the path of greed and selfishness sow the seeds of our common destruction. “
“There is no more time to sit down,” Biden said in a more measured warning who also apologized for the United States’ temporary withdrawal from the landmark 2015 Paris agreement, which, according to him, put the country behind in its efforts.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Modi, speaking at the leaders’ event on action and solidarity, said India was extremely vulnerable to climate change. âAdaptation has not received as much attention as climate change mitigation. This is not justified, especially for the countries most affected by climate change, âhe said.
Cultivation patterns in India are changing due to monsoon flooding and exceptional and extreme rainfall. India’s infrastructure must be made resilient to climate change and adaptation to climate change must be mainstreamed, he said.
During his speech at COP26, the Prime Minister began by recounting India’s recent efforts on climate change. âWe are resolutely making every possible effort and working hard. In terms of installed renewable energy capacity, India is ranked fourth; it has increased its non-fossil fuel energy by 25% over the past seven years; and it now represents 40% of our energy mix, âhe said.
Net zero refers to a balance where greenhouse gas emissions that raise the temperature of the planet continue to be offset by the absorption of an equivalent amount from the atmosphere. Experts see net zero goals as an essential measure to successfully tackle climate change and its devastating consequences.
(With Bloomberg entries)