Updated: Nov 4, 2021
India at the COP26 2021 Summit
The climate summit , that is ongoing in the United Kingdom right now, began on the 31st of October and hopes to raise awareness about realising the state our planet is in, and hopefully be able to guide countries through the turning point to a cleaner and greener environment. The meeting sees world leaders from all corners promising what they hope to do, as well as laying down and ideating their plans for the future and how they plan to help.
As for our own country , Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined five commitments at the conference. Representing India, he has promised to cut carbon emissions to net zero by the year 2070-an ambitious goal. However, that goal still missed the key goal of the COP26 summit for countries to reach that net zero target by the year 2050. Regardless,this is the first time India has set this net zero target at Glasgow, and it is a step towards improvement.
Net zero means that there will be no adding to the already existing hazardous amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and it means being carbon neutral. China aims to reach this neutrality by 2060, while the United States and EU plan to hit the target by 2050 as originally hoped.
However India's massive population means that the emissions per capita are much, much lower than a lot of other world economies. While compared to the US, which emitted 15.5 tonnes, and Russia, which emitted 12.5 tonnes, India emitted a low 1.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide per head of population in 2019. That being said though, the developing nature of the country hinders the funds required to promote and create an idealistic number of sustainable energy outlets and practices.
Modi said that India hopes to get 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, and reduce carbon emissions by one billion tonnes in the same year as well. Will it be able to do all this in dealing with the impending climate and global warming crisis ?
India at the summit announced '500 GW of non-fossil electricity capacity'. It also aims to reduce the emissions intensity of the GDP by 45% by 2030. According to Dr.Arunabha Ghosh, who is the CEO of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, India demands around 722 billion euros to finance climate issues and has said that it will take charge of not only action but finance as well. This announcement of the government is being labelled as 'bold'.
India emits 2.46 billion tonnes of carbon today. Before the pandemic, the growth rate was 4.8%. If we assume that the pandemic is entering its last stage, the emissions will rise to around 4 billion tonnes by 2030.
The most ambitious of the targets set out is definitely the statement made to draw half of the energy required for the country from renewable sources by 2030. Coal,oil,and natural gas account for 75% of energy use now. It is difficult for the country to reach that goal, but it may be possible with hydro and nuclear power usage. Saying that , that would require an expansion vast enough to replace coal for electricity, and petroleum fuel for natural power.
The Prime Minister made it a point to point out that India's main focus is to bring the millions of citizens in poverty out of it. India constitutes 17% of the world's population , but occupies relatively less percentage in terms of carbon emissions. The country is handling climate change to the best of its abilities , and believes in their plan.
The Prime Minister went on to say how the word 'LIFE' or 'lifestyle for environment', should be taken forward as a movement for an environmentally conscious lifestyle, and showed off how India's huge railway system has committed to attain a net-zero emissions target by 2030, which will reduce 60 millions tonnes of emissions annually. He stated that the previous event in Paris for India was not just a summit , but a 'sentiment and commitment'
- Medini Langer