This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard India Country Manager Pooran Chandra Pandey
India has been seized of the climate change issues and its impact both nationally and internationally, implementing collective action to avoid the tipping point of global warming. It is also a signatory to Paris Climate Agreement (2015) and has made commitments to address global warming by focusing both on mitigation and adoption strategies. However, it has not yet submitted its updated Paris Agreement pledge (that was due by the end of 2020).
India is a large country both in terms of its geographic spread, seasonal diversity, and population of about 1.4 billion people and thus has a unique situation and circumstances that it needs to consider while navigating the climate crisis and fulfill its international commitments. It is part developed and part developing country.
Part of the overall commitment made by the developed nations to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement by the developing and small economies and island nations included their commitment to making available USD 100 billion per annum, technology development and transfer of technology and capacity building and training. However, none of these commitments have until now fructified and developing countries, including India continue to press on these three vital issues to help them accelerate the climate action through firm pledges and plans.
Among others, the vital issues however that continue to complicate moral imperatives for climate action by India (like other developing nations) include lack of resources and technology and its transfer originally agreed by developed nations through provisions of Paris Climate agreement. These factors apply as mentioned in detail below both with respect to India cutting its emissions by half by 2030 and reaching the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 or earlier.
The Paris Agreement also speaks of the vision of fully realizing technology development and transfer for both improving resilience to climate change and reducing GHG emissions. It establishes a technology framework to provide overarching guidance to the well-functioning Technology Mechanism. The mechanism is accelerating technology development and transfer through its policy and implementation arms. (https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement).
As the world ramps up its response to climate challenge, it is deploying climate technologies on an unprecedented scale. India has been a leader by far as far as ramping domestic renewable power capacity is concerned. There is however a pressing need for India to significantly accelerate and strengthen climate technology innovation, to deliver cheaper and better-performing technologies on a larger and more widespread scale with seamless support from and fulfillment of technology and its transfer by developed nations to developing economies. (Technology Executive Committee, TEC Brief. 10, UNFCC, September 2017). (https://unfccc.int/ttclear/misc_/StaticFiles/gnwoerk_static/brief10/8c3ce94c20144fd5a8b0c06fefff6633/57440a5fa1244fd8b8cd13eb4413b4f6.pdf)
India’s Strategy to Overcome Climate Change Obstacles
India has been fully aware of the fact that the commitments made by developed nations via Paris Climate Agreement is nowhere near their fruition and much of what was promised may either not take place or if that were to actualize, it may take a much longer time. It is in backdrop of this reality and recognition, the country is taking firm and measured steps to fulfill its climate commitments while keeping its eyes focused on domestic economic development and growth. India, among other measures, has been taking the following steps to put its climate action in place and overachieve its commitments than going overboard and fall short. These are:
- The Indian government has been working with the business community, especially companies engaged in the production of fossil fuels. The efforts are paying off as more than 10 large Indian companies have already committed to become carbon neutral by 2035 (much ahead of 2050 target) while committing USD 100 billion in renewable energy production. It is reliably estimated that in run-up to COP 26 in Glasgow by the end of 2022 and India’s G-20 presidency in 2022, more than 50 businesses are expected to announce their net neutral goals investing about USD trillion in clean, renewable energy. In one such instance, more than 50 leading businesses have formed ‘India Climate Collective’ to work conjointly on climate action.
- The Indian government has also been working closely with investors through foreign direct investments, domestic banks, and financial institutions to attract investments in renewable energy. Investment in renewable energy in India by investors has been pegged at USD 70 billion in the last 7 years (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/renewable-energy-sector-in-india-gets-70-billion-investment-in-7-years-singh/articleshow/83840238.cms) and this investment is estimated to rise to USD 500 billion in next five years.
- Sub-regional governments, realizing the importance and opportunities that climate actions present have been begun working collaboratively to address climate change. For instance, many sub-regional governments now have their own climate policies, withdrawing subsidies from coal and other fossil fuels and using the savings there from for funding new renewable and clean energy projects.
Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi, Telephone: +91-11-23793791/2, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Bhupender Yadav, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, New Delhi, Telephone: +91-11-24695132 , Email: email@example.com
Mr. Nitin Gadgari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, New Delhi. Telephone: +91-11-23062019, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org