India only country in G20 to meet Paris Accord commitment


Photo credit Twitter UN Climate Change

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By Satyajeet

New Delhi, August 19: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an agency of the UN, released its report ‘Climate Change 2021 – The Physical Science Basis’, highlighting the consequences of rise in temperature. It apprehended that the earth’s temperature will rise by 2° Celsius, compared to pre-industrial times, by year 2100 along with 2 meter rise in global mean sea level as a consequence of persistent emission of hot gases in the air in last two decades.

The findings stated that the India, along with other Asian countries, is witnessing an increase in water level which is higher as compared to other parts of the world.

Also, India’s metropolitan cities on coastal periphery such as Mumbai, Chennai, Mangalore, Kochi and Vishakhapatnam are under threat. The findings of the report have been proved relevant and are still evident considering the events of heavy rainfall and flood situations across different parts of the country.

In 2016, India ratified the Paris Agreement (on Climate Change), committing to treat its national laws, development agenda, availability of means of implementation, its assessment of global commitment to combating climate change, and predictable and affordable access to cleaner source of energy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi committed in ‘Conference of Parties (COP)’ in Glasglow to make India ‘net zero (CO2 emission) by 2070’.

Today, India is at fourth position in the world in terms of installed renewable energy capacity. The non-fossil fuel energy has increased by more than 25 per cent in the last seven years, whereas it has also achieved its part of ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ (NDCs) as promised at COP-21 of achieving 40 per cent of its installed electricity capacity from non-fossil energy sources (solar, wind and hydro) by 2030.

India’s installed Renewable Energy (RE) capacity stands at 150.54 GW. India stands at 5th position in solar and 4th in wind in terms of installed capacity and now it has reached 40 per cent of energy mix.

India’s strategy to reduce the carbon footprints responsible for global climate change is systematic, planned and executed at micro organization level and backed with digital augmentation.

Per se, the Indian Railway- one of the world’s busiest mode of transport have been electrifying its all tracks in quest to become ‘Net Zero Carbon Emission Railway’ by 2030.

As on July 2022, 81 per cent electrification of all broad-gauge network is completed in a record time, while 100 per cent electrification of Indian Railways will lead to an annual emissions reduction of at least 15 million tonnes of CO2 and will save fuel of worth Rs 17,000 crore per year.

Furthermore, in case of domestic transport, more than 92,393 electric vehicles have been supported under ‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme, which was started in 2015 to promote adoption of electric/ hybrid vehicles (EVs) in India, which is vital in mitigating CO2 emissions.

Moreover, India has resolved to achieve the goal of 20 per cent ethanol blending in petrol and diesel by 2025 to provide an alternative for regular fuels and limit the emission.

Under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, clean fuel have been provided to household women saving them from clutches of traditional carbonized methods of cooking. With time bound implementation, the scheme has achieved its 99.80 per cent of the total coverage as per the scheduled target. Whereas, distribution of LEDs under Pradhan Mantri Ujala Yojana is reducing 3,87,80,404 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), which aimed to achieve open-defecation-free India, building solid waste management capacity and bringing about behavioural changes on cleanliness in the society, the close analysis of various initiatives especially, under SBM-Urban shows that it can mitigate 17.42 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2022.

‘The Smart Cities Mission’ (SCM) has been the one taking charge of the technological advancements of Indian cities to improve governance, sustainability and disaster risk resilience by adopting best practices to achieve international standards for green, sustainable and resilient urban habitats. So far, the infrastructure for 417.5 km of smart roads, solar panels generating 30 MW of energy and 253.5 MLD of wastewater treatment capacity has been completed. The overall reduction in GHG emissions from projects implemented under SCM is expected to reach 4.93 million tonnes of CO2 by 2022.

This trajectory, if compared to the G-20, India is the only G-20 country on track to meet its Paris commitments.

(Author is a researcher with Public Policy Research Centre)

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