CANDI 31 AUGUST 2021
OPINIONS & EDITORIALS
India is indeed walking the green talk
GS 3 – Environment
Context: Despite many climate commitments and accomplishments, global pressures are
intensifying on India to commit more towards the Conference of the Parties (COP26), scheduled for
November 2021 in Glasgow.
The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow
on 31 October – 12 November 2021.
The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the
Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Meeting climate goals- a comparison
Examining World Bank data for CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita) over two decades since the
Kyoto protocol informs that at the current rate, both China and the U.S. could emit five times more
than India in 2030.
China, the world’s largest GHG emitter, joined the ‘race to zero’ and targets carbon
neutrality by 2060. Interestingly, it hopes to peak CO2 emissions by 2030 by bending the
o The Climate Action Tracker, an independent scientific analysis tracking governments’
actions, noted that China remains committed to supporting the coal industry while
the rest of the world experiences a decline.
o It is now home to half of the world’s coal capacity.
USA: Recently, the U.S. rejoined the Paris Agreement and committed to reducing emissions
by 50%-52% in 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050.
o Such ambitions will also require much more near-term investment than even the U.S.
President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure package.
The U.K.’s emission levels could be more than 1.5 times that of India. Brazil, with its dense
forests, may end up at similar levels.
France set green conditions for bailing out its aviation industry, during the novel
o However no baseline for reducing emissions from domestic flights was fixed, and it
is unclear what measures were adopted to promote rail for domestic travel.
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Australia: The complicated domestic politics prevented them from addressing the problem,
despite the country being vulnerable, and stretches of the famous Great Barrier Reef having
died in recent years.
Even at the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (December
2020), India was the only G20 nation compliant with the agreement.
India has been ranked within the top 10 for two years consecutively in the Climate Change
o It is published by Germanwatch, the New Climate Institute and the Climate Action
o It evaluates the performance of countries emitting 90%+ of global greenhouse gases
Achieving Nationally determined contributions (NDCs): India is on track to meet and exceed
the NDC commitment to achieve 40% electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuelbased sources by 2030; this share was 38.18% in November 2020.
Against the voluntary declaration for reducing the emission intensity of GDP by 20%-25% by
2020, India has reduced it by 24% between 2005-2016.
o India achieved these targets with around 2% out of the U.S.$100 billion committed
to developing nations in Copenhagen (2009), realised by 2015.
Mitigation efforts: India is implementing one of the most extensive renewable energy
expansion programmes to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450
GW by 2030.
Coupling Post-pandemic revival with environmental protection: As part of the fiscal
stimulus, the Government announced several green measures, including a $26.5-billion
investment in biogas and cleaner fuels, $3.5 billion in incentives for producing efficient solar
photovoltaic (PV) and advanced chemistry cell battery, and $780 million towards an
International efforts: India provided leadership for setting up the International Solar
Alliance (ISA) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.
o The ISA is a coalition of solar resource-rich countries that lie either completely or
partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
o The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) is a multi-stakeholder
global partnership of national governments, UN agencies and programmes,
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multilateral development banks and financing mechanisms, the private sector, and
India’s contribution to global emissions is well below its equitable share of the worldwide carbon
budget by any equity criterion. Other countries must deliver on their promises early and
demonstrate tangible results ahead of COP26. In any case, India can always revise the NDC for the
first global stocktake (2023) while simultaneously protecting our interests.
CONNECTING DOTS FOR PRELIMS
The Paris Agreement
It is a legally binding international treaty on climate change.
It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered
into force on 4 November 2016.
Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees
Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
How does the Paris Agreement work?
The Paris Agreement works on a 5- year cycle of increasingly ambitious climate
action carried out by countries.
By 2020, countries submit their plans for climate action known as nationally
determined contributions (NDCs).
It refers to a proposed five-yearly review of the impact of countries’ climate
Under the Paris Agreement, every country must present a climate action plan in
five-yearly cycles. It is supposed to be similar to the plan countries submitted in the
run-up to the talks that concluded last week.
Under the Paris Agreement, the first global stocktake will happen in 2023.
Nationally determined contributions (NDCs)
In their NDCs, countries communicate actions they will take to reduce their
Greenhouse Gas emissions in order to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Countries also communicate in the NDCs actions they will take to build resilience
to adapt to the impacts of rising temperatures.
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To better frame the efforts towards the long-term goal, the Paris Agreement invites
countries to formulate and submit by 2020 long-term low greenhouse gas
emission development strategies (LT-LEDS).
LT-LEDS provide the long-term horizon to the NDCs. Unlike NDCs, they are not
mandatory. Nevertheless, they place the NDCs into the context of countries’ longterm planning and development priorities, providing a vision and direction for
India’s NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) include
increasing its cumulative electricity generation installed capacity from non-fossil
energy sources to 40 per cent;
lowering emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35 per cent compared to 2005 levels
creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5- 3 billion tonnes through additional forest
and tree cover.
Source: THE HINDU