(MainsGS3:Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.)
- At the Climate Change Conference (COP27) at Sharm el-Sheikh India unveiled its much-awaited Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy.
- India “aspires” to maximize the use of electric vehicles, with ethanol blending to reach 20% by 2025 (it is currently 10%) and a “strong shift” to public transport for passenger and freight traffic.
- India will also focus on improving energy efficiency by the Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme, the National Hydrogen Mission, increasing electrification, enhancing material efficiency, and recycling and ways to reduce emissions.
- India’s forest and tree cover are a net carbon sink absorbing 15% of CO2 emissions in 2016, and the country is on track to fulfilling its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) commitment of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of additional carbon sequestration in forest and tree cover by 2030.
Beyond achieving NDC targets:
- The LT-LEDS are qualitative in nature and are a requirement emanating from the 2015 Paris Agreement whereby countries must explain how they will transition their economies beyond achieving near-term NDC targets.
- It also works towards the larger climate objective of cutting emissions by 45% by 2030 and achieve net zero around 2050 which offers the best chance of keeping temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Centigrade.
- India’s long-term strategy (LTS) follows up on the net zero pledge and clearly outlines key interventions across sectors that are going to be the focus of India’s efforts.
- COP27 was labeled as an “implementation” conference, in the sense that countries were determined to solve outstanding questions on climate finance.
- This refers to money that developed countries had committed to developing countries to help them turn their economies away from fossil fuels, build infrastructure resilient to climate shocks and access technologies to enable widespread use of renewable energy.
- Of nearly $100 billion annually committed in 2009, which was to have been arranged for by 2020, less than a third has come in.
- Much of this, and this has been pointed out by several countries including India, is in the form of loans or come with conditions that increase the economic burden on developing countries.
- Considering per capita emissions, for an objective scale for comparison, India's emissions are, even today, about one-third of the global average.
- If the entire world were to emit at the same per capita level as India, the best available science tells us that there would be no climate crisis.