India aims to cut 33 pc carbon emission by 2030

India aims to cut 33 pc carbon emission by 2030

India on Friday released its eight-point climate action plan, which it intends to execute by 2030, to reduce its carbon emission intensity by a third and generate 40 per cent of total electricity from non-fossil-fuel sources like hydro-power, nuclear and solar energy.

The government also plans to create an additional 10 million hectare forested area to serve as a sink that will absorb 2.5-3 billion tonnes of carbon in the next 15 years.

Since accomplishing these ambitious tasks requires large-scale funding — more than $2.5 trillion between 2015 and 2030 — New Delhi has made it clear to the world that successful implementation of the intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) was linked to additional fund and technology flow from rich nations that agreed to do so earlier.

The INDCs are a set of climate action targets, which every country has prepared in the run up to the UN Paris climate summit, where a new global emission cut treaty would be adopted to replace the Kyoto Protocol. The Paris summit begins on November 30.

Based on the INDCs — submitted by 119 countries so far — the UN secretariat will now estimate if voluntary cuts by nations are adequate to limit the global temperature rise within the two-degree guard rail. If not, major polluting nations like the US, China, EU, India and Russia will come under pressure to drop emissions further.

“Our INDC is comprehensive, ambitious and progressive,” said Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, after submitting the 38-page INDC document to the United Nations.

India pledged to lower its carbon emissions growth rate by 33 to 35 per cent by resorting to a clean and efficient energy system, improving the energy efficiency, developing climate resilient urban centres, promoting waste to energy conversion, establishing smart and green transport network, reducing the pollution load and expanding the canopy cover.

On electricity generation, the share of non-fossil fuel would increase from about 30 per cent to 40 per cent by 2030, riding high on an ambitious solar energy programme.

If achieved, the renewable power target of 175 GW would result in abatement of more than 325 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. “India’s target is more ambitious than even that of the US. In 2030, the US will only have about 30 per cent of its electricity capacity on non-fossils,” said Sunita Narain, director general of Centre for Science and Environment. The forestry targets include creation of 5 million ha of forest and tree cover and improving the quality of forest cover for another 5 million ha.

“We are creating nearly three billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of carbon sink through major afforestation programmes. We will save carbon emission to the tune 3.59 billion tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent,” Javadekar said.

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