India largely on track to meet its Paris Climate Agreement targets, says new report

India is largely on track to meet, and even exceed, its Paris Climate Agreement targets, said a new report by an international nonprofit environmental organization on Wednesday.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), in its annual review of India’s actions on climate change, said the country is likely to meet its targets of reducing emissions by 33 to 35 per cent of its GDP by 2030 from the 2005 levels and achieve 40 per cent of installed power capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030.

‘The Road from Paris: India’s Progress Towards its Climate Pledge’ review report, however, said that some more work needs to be done on its goal of creating an additional carbon sink.

India is key to a successful outcome at the global climate negotiations beginning next week in Glasgow, just as it was during the Paris talks six years ago, the NRDC report said.

“Since the Paris Agreement in 2015, the world has made progress on climate goals, especially with an unprecedented expansion of renewable energy, but it is not enough.

“The planet is already 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial times and, as warned by the new UN emissions gap report, unless countries agree to drastic and accelerated decarbonization soon, we are on course for a catastrophic 2.7 degrees temperature rise by the end of this century,” it said.

The report said that just an additional temperature rise by half a degree Celsius can have devastating consequences for millions of people around the world along with incalculable loss of biodiversity.

“As compared to a temperature rise of 2 degrees, at 1.5 degrees, about 420 million fewer people would be exposed to extreme heatwaves, 65 million fewer people would be exposed to exceptional heatwaves and 61 million fewer urban dwellers would be exposed to severe drought,” it said.

India has a pivotal role in future greenhouse gas mitigation and at the same time has massive climate adaptation needs with millions already suffering due to extreme heat, drought, and floods, the report said.

With most of the country’s infrastructure still being built and the energy supply of the future yet to be installed, India has the opportunity to establish a low carbon development paradigm for the rest of the developing world, it said.

“The Indian government has largely espoused this vision. However, for India to achieve this, greater flows of climate finance and technical collaboration are essential, and are key issues of discussion at the Glasgow COP 26,” the NRDC report said.

In the runup to the climate conference every year, NRDC and partners publish an annual review of India’s actions on climate change.

Elaborating on the climate actions being taken by India, it said that the share of installed capacity from renewable energy sources has increased to 26 per cent (more than 100 GW out of 387 GW) in August 2021.

“To support its clean energy transition, India plans to launch a hydrogen mission which will explore how green hydrogen can be used by existing end users of hydrogen such as refineries and fertilizer plants, blended with natural gas for CNG users and piped natural gas used as fuel for longer-range vehicles and heavy-duty trucks and used in heavy industries like cement and steel.”

Under Phase-II of the Faster Adoption and Manufacture of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles (FAME) Scheme, India allocated Rs 10,000 crore for advancing electric mobility in public transportation fleets, four-wheelers, three-wheelers, private two-wheelers as well as electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the report said.

In August 2021, India committed to ratifying the Kigali Amendment, the global pact to phase down super climate-polluting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) commonly used in cooling appliances and insulating foams.

“India has made strong progress on its climate commitments and remains a key international stakeholder when it comes to increasing ambition and charting a low carbon future,” it said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the upcoming international climate conference COP 26 in Glasgow which will be held from October 31 to November 12.

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