India to Target Net-Zero by 2070

India will achieve net-zero emissions latest by 2070, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the COP26 summit in Glasgow on November 1. There was pressure on India to set a timeline as it was the only major emitter before the summit that had neither committed to a timeline to achieve net-zero nor a year by which it sought to ensure its net carbon emissions would be zero. India is the 3rd largest emitter in the world because of its large population. However, India is one of the lowest producers when emission per capita is taken into consideration.

By the year 2030, India will ensure half of its energy requirements will be sourced from renewable sources. India also determined to reduce its emissions intensity per unit of GDP by less than 45%. India also committed to reduce its carbon emissions until 2030 by a billion tonnes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived for the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland

Prime Minister at the summit also revised the earlier targets. Hence, India would now install systems to generate 500 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, a 50 GW increase from its existing target. He urged the rich developed countries ought to provide at least $1 trillion in climate finance to assist developing countries and the most vulnerable countries in the spirit of climate justice.

UN chief Antonio Guterres on this occasion said that the COP26 climate summit must act to “save humanity” and protect the planet, warning that currently “we are digging our own graves”. Mr Guterres urged countries to keep the Paris deal goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius alive.

This statement by the Prime Minister was unexpected as before the summit, the stand of India has been to resist any such declaration of net zero-emission. Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, a day before the summit, had reiterated the principles of Equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities and took a firm stand about the injustice caused to developing nations.

What is CBDR- RC?

  • Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR–RC) is a principle under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • It acknowledges that individual countries have different capabilities and differing responsibilities in addressing the issue of climate change.
  • Under the Convention, the countries were divided into “Annex I” and “non-Annex I,” as per the principles of CBDR-RC, where Annex I generally referred to developed countries and non-Annex I was denoted for developing countries.
  • Under the Convention, the countries listed in Annex I have a greater mitigation role than countries scheduled under non-Annex-I.
  • In the Kyoto Protocol in the year 1992, CBDR-RC and the annex classifications were codified, and Annex I country emissions reductions were made legally bound

India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions Target

  • To reduce the carbon emissions intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030 from 2005 level. Earlier the target was to reduce the intensity by 35%.
  • To achieve around 50 per cent (revised from the previous target of 40%) cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by the year 2030 by utilising Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other sources of low-cost international finance for the transfer of technology of clean and green energy.
  • To promote and propagate a sustainable and healthy way of living based on traditional customs and values of conservation and moderation.
  • To increase capacity building for creating a domestic framework for quick diffusion of cutting-edge technology in India with the help of international architecture and for joint collaborative R&D for such future technologies.
  • To create an additional pool of 2.5 to 3 billion tons of C02 equivalent by increasing forest and tree cover by 2030.
  • To better adapt to climate change by enhancing investments in development programmes in sectors vulnerable to climate change, particularly agriculture, water resources, Himalayan region, coastal regions health and disaster management
  • To mobilise additional funds from developed countries to developing countries in order to implement the mitigation and adaptation actions due to the resource gap between these countries.
  • To adopt a climate-friendly and cleaner path than the one followed hitherto by others at the corresponding level of economic development.