India, the world’s third biggest carbon-emitting country, said on Friday it was “confident” it could cut its emissions intensity by 35 percent by 2030 in the run-up to a key conference in Paris later this year.
As The New York Times reports, India is the last major economy to submit a plan to the UN’s climate office ahead of the December summit, where world leaders hope to reach a binding worldwide agreement on reducing the rate of global warming.
“India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions is fair and ambitious, considering the fact that India is attempting to work towards low carbon emission pathway while endeavoring to meet all developmental challenges the country faces today”, said the environment minister at a press conference here.
Javadekar said they are aiming to achieve 40 per cent of electric power installed base capacity from non-fossil fuel by 2030.
Experts who have been watching India’s development said that the country is trying to curb emissions, while lifting its population out of poverty and dealing with a hard investment climate.
Greenpeace India lauded New Delhi’s commitments, saying its renewables target “will change the energy matrix in India”, stating that renewables now make up less than 12 percent of its energy supply. He said India’s per capita emissions in 2030 shall be lower than the current global average. He warned that unless companies cleaned up their carbon emissions, the consequences of global environmental change would soon affect many peoples’ quality of life and put businesses and financial markets at risk. Beijing also said it would bring its absolute emissions to a peak by “around 2030”.
The country would need, as per preliminary estimates, around $206 billion between 2015 and 2030 for implementing adaptation actions in agriculture, forestry, fisheries infrastructure, water resources and ecosystems. Additionally, it will increase its tree and forest cover to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
China and the USA are the only countries with higher emissions than India. It was not immediately clear whether that would also include nuclear power.
“As one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, India recognizes the domestic benefits of confronting this issue”.
Paharpur Business Centre chief executive officer Kamal Meattle termed it “a very welcome announcement” and ActionAid India executive director Sandeep Chachra called the plan far “superior” to ones proposed by the USA and the European Union.
“India’s pledge to make a significant reduction in emissions with strong support for renewable energy compared to business as usual is to be warmly welcomed”, said Saleemul Huq, senior fellow at the worldwide Institute for Environment and Development, an independent policy organization.
The government has said the new emission intensity reduction targets and adapting to climate change will require approximately $2.5 trillion at 2014-15 prices between now and 2030, besides an array of technologies.