- India has announced its pledge to achieve net zero status by 2070, 2 decades later than the world is required to
- It would increase its renewable energy target to 500 GW by 2030, up from 450 GW aimed earlier
- The country would target 50% of its electricity to come from renewables by 2030
India has made heads turn at the ongoing COP26 in UK’s Glasgow announcing it will aim to go net zero by 2070, and increase the national share of non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030, up from the previous target of 450 GW.
Announcing these measures, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country will fulfil 50% of its energy requirements with renewable energy as it targets 1 billion ton reduction in its projected carbon emissions between now and 2030. Even for its railways network, the government will aim for net zero status by 2030, translating into 60 million ton emission reduction on annual basis.
Even though it is a big pledge from a country that’s blamed to be one of the largest polluting nations in the world today, it is 2 decades later than what the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) believes the world needs, to achieve net zero by 2050 to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5ºC.
While several nations like the US and UK have pledged to go net zero by 2050, China has said it will achieve carbon neutrality before 2060 (see China Declares Carbon Neutrality Goal By 2060).
To finance the various measures Modi listed down, he called on world’s developed nations to make available $1 trillion as climate finance ‘as soon as possible’.
As details from the Indian contingent come in regarding how it plans to achieve the targets announced, it is nonetheless a much needed step from the government in current times.
Dr. Arunabha Ghosh, the CEO of Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) called it ‘real climate action’ on part of India. This announcement also makes India a desired destination for investors in the fields of green technologies.
CEEW estimates India’s total installed solar power capacity to increase to over 5,600 GW to achieve net zero by 2070, with coal use coming down by 99% by 2060. CEEW Fellow Dr. Vaibhav Chaturvedi said, “Also, consumption of crude oil, across sectors, would need to peak by 2050 and fall substantially by 90% between 2050 and 2070. Green hydrogen could contribute 19% of the total energy needs of the industrial sector.”