(MainsGS3:Environment Conservation, Environmental pollution and degradation)
- Recently India has announced a 'bold' pledge to achieve 'Net Zero' carbon emissions by 2070 at the Conference of Parties (COP26) Climate Summit in Glasgow.
- At COP26 in Glasgow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India will commit to ambitious, enhanced climate targets and cuts in carbon emissions in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
- There were promises to increase non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 GW, meet 50% energy from renewable energy, reduce emissions by one billion tonnes, and bring down the economy’s carbon intensity below 45%, all by 2030.
Net zero emission:
- By announcing a commitment for achieving net-zero targets by 2070, India has responded positively to the global call.
- In a 'transformative' step forward, PM Modi had also vowed to reduce industrial emissions by 1 billion tonnes by 2030.
- However, the announcement came as a surprise given that India had given no assurances to visiting western climate negotiators before the conference, and had not filed updated NDCs by the deadline last month.
- India's new target of 500 gigawatts (GW) of energy from non-fossil fuel sources was also said to be a "very significant" contribution to climate goals.
- 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.
- It will be a "transformative" step forward towards checking India's greenhouse gas emissions, which were about 3.3 billion in 2018, which will further reach above 4 billion per year by 2030, as per World Resources Institute.
- The said reduction cuts down the rate to at least 2.5% to 3% for at least the recent coming years.
Needs immediate shift:
- The pledges of India in 2021 will require an almost immediate shift in the Government’s priorities if it wishes to meet its first few goals in just eight years.
- According to one estimate (the Centre for Science and Environment), the promise to reduce emissions by one billion tonnes would need a reduction in India’s carbon output by a massive 22% by 2030.
- 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.
One world movement:
- Delivering India's National Statement at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, PM Modi proposed for "One-Word Movement.
- The One-Word Movement is calling for collective participation towards mitigating climate change to raise "environmental consciousness" and combat "mindless and destructive consumption."
- The PM also called for a "unified approach" to attain multidimensional goals in the fields of fishing, agriculture, wellness, dietary choices, housing, tourism, water management, energy.
- Countries must remember that they are not in competition with one another in climate change rather trying together to outrun the clock.
- Thus, if the Government realises PM’s promises in Glasgow, India will be a global beacon in fighting climate change and ensuring sustainable development