Climate change is a pressing global crisis that demands urgent action from all nations. India, one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gasses, has set ambitious goals for reducing its emissions at COP27. However, these goals have been criticized by some as being unattainable. This article in the series, ‘Explained in 500’, will examine India’s COP27 goals in detail. We will also discuss what India can do at COP28 to achieve its goals.
India’s Climate Policies and Promised NDCs
As stated in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), India’s climate policies aim to achieve emission reduction targets and sustainable development.India’s goals at COP27 were to:
- Reduce its GDP’s emissions intensity by 45% by 2030
- Achieve 50% of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030, such as solar and wind power.
- Protect its forests and increase its carbon sinks
- Support developing countries in their climate action efforts.
India’s goals at COP27 could have been more ambitious and realistic. It is a developing country with a growing population, so it needs to balance its climate and economic goals.
Clarity of India’s Climate Policies: Identifying Loopholes
India’s climate policies have faced criticism for their need for more clarity. Additionally, the idea of increasing emissions through carbon capture and storage technology (CCUS) raises questions about the effectiveness of these policies in addressing the climate crisis. Concerns about CCUS and its energy intensity, the potential for leakage, and environmental impacts have arisen. Relevant stakeholders must address such concerns before CCUS can be considered a viable solution to climate change.More precise strategies are needed to ensure transparency, accountability, and tangible progress towards India’s climate goals.
India can incentivize the private sector and industries to embrace sustainable practices and clean energy solutions. Providing financial incentives and benefits to businesses that invest in clean energy can encourage companies to transition towards sustainability.
Also, our government can encourage green energy companies to utilise the green investment funds provided by the IREDA (Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency), the GEF (Green Environmental Facility), the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs). This push will help industries to learn more about clean energy solutions and rapidly adapt them.
Suggestions for COP28
Moving forward to COP28, India should focus on strengthening its commitments and developing comprehensive action plans. Some concrete measures that India can adopt include:
- Setting ambitious emissions reduction targets, say, a target of net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner
- Investing in clean energy, such as solar, wind and biomass energies.
- Promote energy efficiency by encouraging people to use energy-efficient appliances in public transportation.
- Support developing countries in reducing emissions and adapting to climate change.
Climate Compensation and Disaster Mitigation
India’s G20 presidency has prioritized energy and climate change mitigation, focusing on climate finance, energy security, and green hydrogen. India can better protect its vulnerable communities by investing in infrastructure that can withstand extreme weather events and educating citizens about climate change risks. These efforts align with the country’s recognition of mitigation and adaptation efforts in addressing the impacts of climate change.
Regarding climate compensation, India is a mixed bag due to its historical past and current economic status. So, India could actively seek compensation from historical polluters (such as the EU, the US and the UK) for their role in exacerbating climate change impacts on vulnerable nations. Simultaneously, it must also take responsibility for its contemporary contributions.
For instance, the Climate Action Tracker report says, ‘India will need to implement some additional policies with its resources to make a fair contribution to addressing climate change, but will also need international support to implement all the policies necessary for 1.5°C compatibility’.
Additionally, reports from the International Energy Agency highlight the importance of addressing air pollution and reducing CO2 emissions. Therefore, India should take responsibility for its contemporary climate change contributions and start vigorously working towards addressing them.
So there you’ve it!
Now, you understand why India needs to evaluate its NDCs and that too within a short period. As COP28 approaches, India must take bold and decisive actions towards building a sustainable and resilient future for all.
The article is authored by Gayathri, a freelance writer and editor passionate about sustainability, the environment and animal welfare.