By 2030 India’s climate actions (INDC) are to Reduce emission intensity by 33-35% compared to 2005, Produce 40 per cent of electricity from non-fossil fuel based energy, if international community helps, Create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest cover and Develop robust adaptation strategies for agriculture, water and health sectors. Here’s the reaction.
India has 18% of the world’s population, 7% of GDP and 9% of CO2 emissions – 1.66 metric tons per capita (compared to United States 17 and UK 7).
Michael R. Bloomberg, The U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities & Climate Change, who met with Prime Minister Modi at the UN General Assembly September 24, said: “Prime Minister Modi and the Indian government have set an ambitious clean energy goal of achieving 40% zero-carbon electricity by 2030. Having attended India’s Renewable Energy Investment Summit in Delhi earlier this year, I know the commitment that India’s state and city leaders are bringing to this mission – and the strong support for it that exists in India’s business community, which recognizes the economic opportunity that renewable energy presents. India’s ambitious target should inspire other countries to adopt bolder climate plans – and encourage the global community to create the financial mechanisms necessary for such plans to succeed.”
Also speaking in reaction to the announcement, Krishnan Pallassana, India Director, The Climate Group, said: “The much anticipated India INDC underlines actions already in place which focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency. We welcome the commitment made to reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35% by 2030, and the signals the India government is sending about its support for the international process and its confidence in a deal at COP. Development is understandably a primary concern for policy-makers, and this is evident in today’s announcement.
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“However the fact that India is a developing economy should not be seen as a constraint but as an opportunity to demonstrate to others how ambitious growth can be achieved through a clean industrial revolution and building a strong low carbon economy.
“The Climate Group is already working with the India government on developing finance mechanisms which support the rapid scale up of off-grid renewable energy solutions. Our Bijli – Clean Energy for All program has already brought cheap, clean energy to tens of thousands of people in remote areas. With the proper support, potentially hundreds of millions of people could be connected to affordable, low carbon energy in a way which could provide a massive boost to the Indian economy.”
Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group commented on India’s INDC: “All the world’s major economies have now presented their contributions for COP21. India’s INDC follows a week where climate has dominated headlines for all the right reasons. We’ve seen Brazil and South Africa make commitments, states, regions and cities set new carbon targets, and organizations representing no fewer than 6 million companies say they all back a deal in Paris. This is a world apart from where we were going into Copenhagen.
“The wind is clearly in our sails. But we now need to turn this momentum into a ratcheting up of ambition and confidence that a strong deal will have significant economic and financial benefits. Paris needs to mark a major transition to a global low economy that is strong and sustainable. The goal, as signaled to us by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar this week, of transforming India’s economy into a leading global clean tech hub and delivering the country’s economic development strategy on the back of this, is further evidence that the center of gravity has fundamentally and irreversibly shifted.”
Also commenting on India’s submission to the UN climate process ahead of this December’s summit,Germana Canzi, ECIU’s International Climate Change Analyst highlighted the importance of the country’s plan: “This commitment by India – the world’s third largest emitter and the world’s fifth largest coal reserves, but also a country with low per capita use of energy and emissions – is significant,” she said.
“Issued on the day Indians celebrate the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, it shows the country takes climate change increasingly seriously and knows it is possible to move towards a low carbon economy while eliminating poverty.
“The path of that India will now take in its development is extremely important for the future of the climate, particularly as the country is set to surpass China to become the world’s most populous country by 2028, with 1.45 billion people.
“In parallel, India is making major efforts to promote decentralised clean energy solutions – particularly solar – to reach 300 million people currently without any electricity, as well as investments in energy efficiency and public transport. India will now need a good deal to be reached at the December UN climate conference in Paris.”
Former UK Environment Minister Richard Benyon MP applauded the country’s commitment to climate change and renewable energy. “It’s highly significant that India is joining the ranks of so many other developed and developing countries in putting serious commitments on the table ahead of the Paris climate talks,” he said.
“India needs to balance the demands of economic growth and reducing emissions, so a primary focus on using energy more efficiently, growing forests and ramping up renewable energy is eminently sensible.
“Like China, India is heading in the right direction and the prospects for a new global deal on climate change appear to be brightening by the day.”