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India pledges 35% cut in emissions
Oct 10, 2015

India, the world’s third largest polluter, has pledged to reduce the intensity of its carbon emissions by up to 35% by 2030 and meet 40% of its energy requirements from nonfossil fuel resources. The Report Titled India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution: Working Towards Climate Justice" declares that the response of developed countries has been “tepid and inadequate” resulting in an “emission ambition gap”.

GoI submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), committing to cut the emissions intensity of GDP by 33-35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

What is INDC?
⇒ The INDCs, which lay out the blueprint for tackling climate change, emphasised eight key goals

i. sustainable lifestyles
ii. Cleaner economic development
iii. Reducing emission intensity of GDP
iv. Increasing the share of non-fossil fuel based electricity
v. Eenhancing carbon sink
vi. Adaptation and mobilising finance
vii. Technology transfer and
viii. capacity building.

  • Every country is submitting these action plans, called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs, in official language, ahead of an annual climate change conference in December — this time being held in Paris — that is expected to deliver a global climate agreement.

  • Through INDCs countries put forward their agreements in the context of their own national circumstances, capabilities and priorities, within the ambition to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions enough to keep global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius.

  • The INDCs will not only contain steps taken towards emission reductions, but also aim to address steps taken to adapt to climate change impacts, and what support the country needs-or will provide to address climate change.

What India has Committed?

  • the emission intensity of gross domestic product (GDP) is targeted to reduce by 33-35% by 2030 with 2005 as the base year. Since India has already pledged to reduce its emission intensity by 2%-25% between 2005 and 2020, the latest commitment is realistic and achievable. India is at an early phase of its industrialization and most of its infrastructure remains to be built. A rising level of energy consumption, and therefore emissions, is inevitable, but at a lower pace than in the earlier phase.

  • The INDC envisages that by 2030, 40% of cumulative electric power installed capacity will come from non-fossil fuels. These would include renewables such as solar, wind and biomass, hydropower and nuclear. The current percentage is about 30%. This target, too, is modest and prudent. Ambitious plans to develop large-scale hydro are slowed down by issues relating to environmental impact and land acquisition. The target of 63,000 megawatts (MW) of nuclear power by 2032, which appeared feasible when the Indo-US nuclear deal was concluded in 2008, is unlikely to be achieved. The Nuclear Liability Bill controversy and the growing public opposition to nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan a few years ago have ensured that nuclear power will remain a supplemental fuel source for the time being

  • There is an intention to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030. It is not clear how much additional land acreage this would require.

 Key-Objects

What will it Cost

  • It estimates that India will require at least $2.5 trillion (at 2014-15 prices) between now and 2030 to implement the plan.

  • Approximate adaptation cost for India in energy sector alone would roughly about $7.7 billion in 2030s, while the economic damage and losses to the country from climate change to be around 1.8 percent of its GDP annually by 2050.

  • Mitigation requirements are even more enormous. Estimates by Niti Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) indicate that the mitigation activities for moderate low carbon development would cost around $834 billion till 2030 at 2011 prices,

What India is doing to Achhieve the Target

  • India would enhance investments in development programmes in sectors and locations vulnerable to climate change, particularly agriculture, water resources, the Himalayan and coastal regions, health and disaster management.

  • To achieve the goals set under its climate change plan, India promised to “continue with its on-going interventions, enhance the existing policies and launch new initiatives”.

  • Its initiatives would include introduction of new, more efficient and cleaner technologies in thermal power generation; promotion of renewable energy generation and increasing the share of alternative fuels in the overall fuel mix; reducing emissions and waste from the transportation sector; promotion of energy efficiency in the economy, notably in industry, transportation, buildings and appliances; development of climate-resilient infrastructure; and full implementation of the Green India Mission and other afforestation schemes.

  • India is also widening the scope of its Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme, a market-based energy efficiency trading mechanism that at present covers 478 plants in eight energy-intensive industrial sectors, accounting for one-third of the total energy consumption in the country. 

 


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