Q. Discuss India's contribution towards net zero carbon emissions and what more India can do to achieve its goals of net-zero by 2070. (250 Words)18 Feb, 2022 GS Paper 3 Bio-diversity & Environment
- Start with what do you mean by net zero carbon emissions and India’s pledge to achieve it.
- Discuss India's contribution towards net zero carbon emission.
- Suggest measures India can take to achieve its goals of net-zero by 2070.
India at UNFCCC CoP-26 announced its enhanced climate commitments — the “Panchamrit”, including a commitment to reach net-zero carbon emission by 2070.
Now, to achieve its targets of 2070, India particularly needs to focus on a smoother renewable energy transition, greater adoption of electric vehicles and greater participation from the public as well as the private sector.
India’s contribution toward net zero emission
- India's Renewable Energy Targets: India’s renewable energy targets have steadily become more ambitious, from the 175 GW by 2022 declared at Paris, to 450 GW by 2030 at the UN Climate Summit, and now 500 GW by 2030, announced at COP26.
- Reforms in Transport Sector: India is accelerating its e-mobility transition with the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles Scheme.
- India leapfrogged from Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) to Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI) emission norms by April 1, 2020, the latter being originally scheduled for adoption in 2024..
- 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.
- Role of Government Schemes: The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has helped 88 million households to shift from coal based cooking fuels to LPG connections.
- More than 367 million LED bulbs have been distributed under the UJALA scheme, leading to a reduction of 38.6 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
- An Energy Mix of Renewables: Round the clock supply of sources like wind and sunlight is not possible everywhere, therefore, it would be wise to go for a diversified energy mix of solar, wind and hydrogen based energy.
- India should work on areas like investment in infrastructure, capacity building and better grid integration in the near and immediate future.
- Encouraging Private Sector Engagement: Since industries also contribute to GHG emissions, any climate action will need to reduce or offset emissions that emerge from industrial and commercial activity.
- Service companies can easily reduce their emissions by expanding the use of renewable energy, and working with supply chain partners. They can become carbon neutral by sourcing 50% of their electricity from renewable sources..
- Electric Vehicle as Way Forward: EVs will contribute to improving the overall energy security situation as the country imports over 80% of its overall crude oil requirements, amounting to approximately $100 billion.
- To mitigate the charging issues of EVs, charging infrastructures that draw power from local electricity supply can be set up at private residences, public utilities such as petrol and CNG pumps, and in the parking facilities of commercial establishments like malls, railway stations, and bus depots.
- Increasing R&D in EVs: The Indian market needs encouragement for indigenous technologies that are suited for India from both strategic and economic standpoint.
- Since investment in local research and development is necessary to bring prices down, it makes sense to leverage local universities and existing industrial hubs.
There is a need to act decisively to reach global net-zero, restricting future cumulative emissions to the remaining carbon budget, if the rise in temperature is to remain within the limits of the Paris Agreement.
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