India’s commitment in COP26

India’s commitment in COP26

GS III – Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

  • COP26 held in Glasgow.

India’s commitment in the conference

  • India committed to ambitious, enhanced climate targets and cuts in carbon emissions in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
  • India promised to fulfill all by 2030 as follows
  1. Increase non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 GW
  2. Meet 50% energy from renewable energy
  3. Reduce emissions by one billion tonnes
  4. Bring down the economy’s carbon intensity below 45%
  • India declared to reach Net Zero emissions by 2070.

India’s position before the conference

  • India had given no assurances to visiting western climate negotiators.
  • India had not filed updated NDCs by the deadline last month.
  • The G20 summit in Rome ended without any new commitments on climate change.
  • Without developed world commitment to fund India’s energy transition and enabled clean technology transfers on a much higher scale, India could not “identify a year” for ending net carbon emissions (ensuring carbon dioxide emissions are absorbed by the use of technology and lowering output), Indian government said.
  • India could not switch to non-fossil fuel and end coal-based thermal plants unless it was made a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, where it is being blocked by China and a number of other countries.

What India has to do?

  • If India wishes to meet its first few goals in just eight years, it has to
  1. The promise to reduce emissions by one billion tonnes would need a reduction in India’s carbon output by a massive 22% by 2030.
  2. India meets about 12% of its electricity needs through renewable energy, and ramping that up to 50% by 2030 will be a tall ask too.

The steps need to be taken by other countries

  • On Net Zero, the target of 2070 is two decades after the global goal at mid-century, and would require the world’s other growing economies including China to peak emissions, preferably by 2030 itself.
  • The developed world that has lagged behind in fulfilling combined promises of billions of dollars to fund emerging economies, LDCs and the most climate vulnerable countries in the global South.
  • When it comes to climate change, countries must remember they are not in competition with one another, but trying together to outrun the clock.