India commits 33-35 pc cut in carbon intensity by 2030

India commits 33-35 pc cut in carbon intensity by 2030
Submitting its 'climate action plan', India has pledged to cut its carbon emission intensity by 33-35 per cent and increase the share of renewable energy by a massive 40 per cent in its total energy mix by 2030.

The announcement was made by India in its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention (UNFCCC) on Climate Change in Bonn for a global climate pact ahead of the climate change summit in Paris later this year. India described its INDC as "fair and ambitious".

India also said that it reserves the right to make additional submissions on INDC as and when required, noting its submission represented highest possible efforts as evident from multiple initiatives undertaken by the government.

"To adopt a climate friendly and a cleaner path than the one followed hitherto by others at corresponding level of economic development; To reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 level; To achieve about 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from nonfossil fuel based energy resources by 2030 with the help of transfer of technology and low cost international finance including from Green Climate Fund (GCF)," the 38-page INDC document said while communicating India's plan yesterday.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, meanwhile, called for a comprehensive and equitable climate change agreement at Paris summit and said developing countries can do more if they are enabled in their efforts with the provision of finance, technology transfer and capacity building support from developed countries.

The country would need, as per preliminary estimates, around USD 206 billion between 2015 and 2030 for implementing adaptation actions in agriculture, forestry, fisheries infrastructure, water resources and ecosystems.

Noting that mitigation requirements are even more enormous for the country, India referred to an estimate given by NITI Aayog saying that the mitigation activities for moderate low carbon development would cost around USD 834 billion till 2030.

India said its INDC is fair and ambitious considering that it is attempting to work towards low carbon emission pathway while endeavouring to meet all the developmental challenges.

It said its long-term plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions builds on its Copenhagen pledge of a 20-25 per cent intensity reduction by 2020.

Asserting that its development plans will continue to lay a balanced emphasis on economic development and environment, India said the current policy framework also includes a favourable environment for a rapid increase in renewable energy, moving towards low carbon sustainable development pathway and adapting to the impacts of climate change.

All nations were due to come out with emission targets ahead of a climate change conference in Paris in December, where they are supposed to adopt a landmark deal to fight climate change.

India said it plans to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.

India is running one of the largest renewable capacity expansion programs in the world, it said, adding that it is aiming to achieve 175 GW renewable energy capacity in the next few years.

India has also decided to anchor a global solar alliance, InSPA (International Agency for Solar Policy & Application), of all countries located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.

With a potential of more than 100 GW, the aim is to achieve a target of 60 GW of wind power installed capacity by 2022, India told UNFCC.

The ambitious solar expansion programme seeks to enhance its capacity to 100 GW by 2022, which is expected to be scaled up further thereafter.

Noting that India plans to increase biomass installed capacity to 10 GW by 2022 from current capacity of 4.4 GW, India said it is working to increase the capacity of hydropower sector as well.

"Efforts are being made to achieve 63 GW installed capacity by the year 2032, if supply of fuel is ensured," India said.

It said with a series of steps taken recently, India has cut subsidies and increased taxes on fossil fuels (petrol and diesel) turning a carbon subsidy regime into one of carbon taxation.

Further, in its effort to rationalize and target subsidies, India has launched 'Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme' for cooking gas, where subsidy will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of the targeted beneficiaries.

In fact, over the past one year India has almost cut its petroleum subsidy by about 26 per cent.

"Recent actions have led to an implicit carbon tax (USD 140 for petrol and USD 64 for diesel) in absolute terms. This is substantially above what is now considered a reasonable initial tax on carbon dioxide emissions of USD 25-USD 35 per tonne.

"Estimates suggest that these measures will help India achieve a net reduction of 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in less than a year," India said.

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