Nimli: India is likely to finalise its revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) — long-term climate goals under the Paris Agreement — once inter-ministerial discussions on the matter conclude, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said Tuesday.
At the COP26 conference in Glasgow in October-November 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced several ambitious goals to ramp up renewable energy capacity and cut emissions. However, four months on, the country is yet to submit the fine print of the announcements, in the form of revised NDCs, to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The 2015 Paris Agreement, to which India is a signatory, requires member countries to prepare and maintain successive NDCs that it intends to achieve. These goals take the form of a written submission, which is sent to the UNFCCC.
“Whatever the prime minister has announced will be followed… Right now, discussions are on at an inter-ministerial level. When the time is right, we will definitely announce the revised NDCs,” Yadav said in response to a query by ThePrint.
The minister was interacting with journalists at the launch of the not-for-profit Centre for Science and Environment’s annual ‘State of Environment’ report, which was released at the Anil Agarwal Dialogue, a four-day media conclave held in Nimli, Rajasthan.
What the PM announced
At the COP26 meet, PM Modi had announced that by 2030, India would increase its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 gigawatts (GW), fulfil 50 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable sources, reduce its carbon intensity of economy by 45 per cent, and reduce total projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes.
The PM also pledged net-zero emissions by 2070, and demanded developed countries deliver $1 trillion in climate finance.
These are much more ambitious announcements than the 2016 NDCs, which included reducing carbon intensity of the economy by 30-35 per cent below 2005 levels, having 40 per cent installed capacity of renewable energy, and creating a carbon sink capable of absorbing 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide — all by 2030.
Path to net-zero amid IPCC warnings
On India’s pathway to net-zero, Yadav said, “Railways will be electrified by 2030 — that will reduce 80 billion tonnes of emissions. We also plan to employ LED bulbs at a large scale, which can reduce 40 billion tonnes of emissions. We are also focussing on hydrogen. If we can make hydrogen sustainable and affordable, we can bring big changes in the world.”
The minister’s comments come in the wake of this week’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which warned that if countries don’t act now, the window of opportunity to adapt to climate change will narrow.
CSE Director General Sunita Narain said: “India needs to act in its own self-interest. Our climate change strategy has to be based on the principle of co-benefits — we will do something for climate change because it is good for the world, but also because it is good for us. We need a low-carbon strategy for every sector; we must also ask the developed world to pay for and give us the high-cost options so that we can leapfrog.”