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Biodiversity & Environment

Stronger Climate Targets 2030

  • 05 Aug 2022
  • 9 min read

For Prelims: Climate Change, UNFCCC, COP, Paris Agreement, Nationally Determined Contributions, Renewable Energy, Government Initiatives

For Mains: UNFCCC COP, Climate Change & its implications, Measures to combat climate change, Government Initiatives

Why in News?

Recently, India has enhanced its climate change targets for 2030.

  • In UNFCCC COP 26 at Glasgow in 2021, the Prime Minister of India had made a series of new promises to strengthen climate action from India.

What are India’s Revised Targets?

  • About:
    • Emission Intensity:
      • India is now committing itself to at least 45% reduction in emissions intensity of GDP (emissions per unit of GDP) from 2005 levels.
        • The existing target was a 33% - 35% reduction.
    • Electricity Generation:
      • India is also promising to ensure that at least 50% of installed electricity generation capacity in 2030 would be based on non-fossil fuel-based sources.
        • This is an increase from the existing 40% target.
  • Significance:
    • The updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) seek to enhance India’s contributions towards the achievement of the strengthening of global response to the threat of climate change, as agreed under the Paris Agreement.
      • NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
    • Such action will also help India usher in low emissions growth pathways.
    • New NDCs will demonstrate India’s commitment at the highest level for decoupling of economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions.
    • As a result of the revised NDCs, the Net Zero target by 2030 by Indian Railways alone will lead to a reduction of emissions by 60 million tonnes annually.
  • Other NDCs:
    • Increase non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW (gigawatts) by 2030.
    • Reduce the total projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes (BT) by 2030.
    • Achieve net zero carbon by 2070.

What are India’s Initiatives towards Climate Change?

  • Reforms in Transport Sector:
  • India's Support to EVs:
    • India is among a handful of countries that support the global EV30@30 campaign, which aims for at least 30% new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030.
    • India’s advocacy of five elements for climate change “Panchamrit”, at the UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow is a commitment to the same.
  • Role of Government Schemes:
  • Role of Industries in Low-Carbon Transition:
    • The public and private sectors in India are already playing a key role in meeting the climate challenge, helped by growing customer and investor awareness, as well as increasing regulatory and disclosure requirements.
  • Hydrogen Energy Mission:
    • Focus on generation of hydrogen from green power resources.
  • Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT):
    • It is a market-based mechanism to further accelerate as well as incentivize energy efficiency in the large energy-intensive industries.

What are the Important Highlights of UNFCCC COP 26?

  • About:
    • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties 26 was held in Glasgow, UK in 2021.
  • Minutes of the meeting:
    • New Global and Country Targets:
      • The Glasgow Summit has urged countries to consider strengthening their 2030 targets by COP27 to be held in Egypt in 2022.
      • The summit targeted global warming not to exceed +1.5°C and got about 140 countries to announce target dates for bringing emissions down to net zero.
        • The achievement is significant as in the Paris Agreement, the developing countries did not agree to reduce emissions but just the “emissions-intensity" of GDP.
      • India has also joined the consensus and announced its net-zero target of 2070.
    • Glasgow Breakthrough Agenda:
      • A potentially important development which emerged out of COP26 (but outside the COP process) is the Glasgow Breakthrough Agenda endorsed by 42 countries (including India).
        • This is a cooperative effort to accelerate the development and deployment of clean technologies and sustainable solutions in areas such as clean power, road transport, steel and hydrogen.
    • Phasing-Down Coal Consumption:
      • Coal is the dirtiest of fossil fuels and an early phasing out of coal is clearly desirable.
        • European countries have pushed hard for its phase out; however, developing countries have resisted this.
        • A middle path, as suggested by India, was referred to at the COP26 calling for a “phase-down" of coal-based power.
    • Best Case Scenario:
      • An early assessment by Climate Action Tracker (CAT), an independent organisation, suggests that the targets declared, if fully achieved, could limit global warming to around +1.8°C.
        • However, it also warns that the targets for 2030 are insufficiently ambitious. Unless significantly tightened, the world is more likely to end up seeing global temperatures rise by 2.1°C to 2.4°C.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)


Q. In the context of India’s preparation for Climate -Smart Agriculture, consider the following statements: (2021)

  1. The ‘Climate-Smart Village’ approach in India is a part of a project led by the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), an international research programme.
  2. The project of CCAFS is carried out under Consultative Group on International Agricultural (CGIAR) headquartered in France.
  3. The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India is one of the CGIAR’s research centres.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only 
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (d)


  • The Climate-Smart Village project in India is a CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). The CCAFS started piloting the Climate-Smart Village in 2012 in Africa (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda) and South Asia (Bangladesh, India, and Nepal). Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCFAS) is carried out under CGIAR (formerly the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research). The Headquarters of CGIAR is in Montpellier, France. CGIAR is a global partnership that unites international organizations engaged in research about food security. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • International Crops Research Institute for the Semi- Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a CGIAR Research Center. ICRISAT is a non-profit, non-political public international research organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world. Hence, statement 3 is correct.
  • Therefore, option (d) is the correct answer.


Q. Explain the purpose of the Green Grid Initiative launched at World Leaders Summit of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, 2021. When was this idea first floated in the International Solar Alliance (ISA)? (2021)

Source: IE

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