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India sets ambitious targets for fighting climate change

Wed, 2015-11-18 18:16
Harshita Bisht

Ahead of the UNFCCC climate talks in Paris, India has submitted its plans for emissions reductions. Harshita Bisht from Development Alternatives reflects on what is in the plan.

photo shows pylons in Mumbai

India intends to increase its share of renewaable energy by 2030, image: World Bank Photo Collection via flickr.com,creative commons licence

Announcing its action plan on climate change, India has committed to reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 using 2005 levels as a baseline. This announcement was made on 2nd October, 2015 when India formally submitted its climate contributions to United Nations ahead of climate talks scheduled in December, 2015, in Paris.

India's Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)

Setting ambitious targets, India has not only committed to bring down its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions unconditionally in setting out its INDC, but has also pledged to substantially increase its share of renewable energy by 2030. With an immense push on clean energy sources, India has committed to achieving about 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030.

To further fulfill this action plan, India has committed to increase in forest and tree cover by 2030 to create carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent. It has further elaborated that decarbonising sectoral measures will play an important role in meeting the country’s goals in a climate compatible manner.

This is an important milestone for India, which has put forward ambitious actions on emission reductions while clearly explicating its renewable energy and forestry targets. In addition, India has also emphasised the country’s needs in terms of adaptation. Stating the vulnerability that climate change poses to different sectors in the country, India has identified the importance of enhancing investments in development programmes in sectors that are vulnerable to climate change, particularly agriculture, water resources, the Himalayan region, coastal regions, health and disaster management.

Climate finance needed

Setting a low carbon development and climate resilient pathway for itself, India’s contribution has also emphasised the need for technology and financing for enhanced actions against climate change. The government has said the new emission intensity reduction targets and adapting to climate change will require approximately US$2.5 trillion at 2014-15 prices between now and 2030. Stating this, India has also highlighted the need to mobilise domestic, new and additional funds from developed countries to implement the mitigation and adaptation actions. On the technology aspect, India has advocated the transfer and grounding of technologies and their knowhow as a crucial measure for enhancing adaptation and mitigation measures in developing countries. Global collaboration in research and development into technologies and support for their transfer free of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) costs, to developing countries could be an enabling factor.

Considering its actions as fair and utmost ambitious, India has also reiterated its development needs for addressing the challenges of poverty eradication, food security, energy and other sustainable developmental goals. Echoing the economic development needs of the country, the comprehensive pledge aims to have a balanced emphasis on economic development and environment.

Harshita Bisht (hbisht@devalt.org) works for IRF2015 partner, Development Alternatives.

This article originally appeared in Alternative Perspectives.http://www.perspectives.devalt.org/?p=1800


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