India’s updated climate pledge to Paris Agreement

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    • Recently, India updated its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). 

    More about the news

    • Updation of the pledge:
      • As per the Paris Agreement’s provisions, countries must ‘update’ their pledges every five years to make higher commitments to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions. 
    • India’s first pledge:
      • The country submitted its first pledge in 2015
      • India’s first pledge, also known as a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), had three primary targets. 
        • The first was to reduce the emissions intensity of the economy by 33–35 percent below 2005 levels. 
        • The second was to have 40 percent of installed electric power from non-fossil-based energy resources by 2030. 
        • The third target was to create an additional (cumulative) carbon sink of 2.5-3 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) by 2030 through additional forest and tree cover.
    • Updated pledge:
      • India now stands committed to reducing the emissions intensity of its GDP by 45 percent by 2030 from its 2005 levels, as per the updated NDC. 
      • The country will also target about 50 percent of cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.
      • To further a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, ‘LIFE’ ‘Lifestyle for Environment’ as a key to combating climate change” has been added to India’s NDC.

    Significance

    • Pathway of India:
      • The pledge will lay out India’s clean energy transition pathway from now through 2030.
      • The pledge will be communicated to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
    • Non-fossil power target:
      • Analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) found that the 50 percent non-fossil power target is achievable
        • As of June 2022, the cumulative installed power capacity from non-fossil sources is 39.7 percent (when including large hydropower projects). 
      • To make this a truly ambitious goal, it must go beyond installed capacity and account for 50% of generation as well.
    • Emissions intensity target:
      • On the emissions intensity target, CSE’s observations suggest that India had achieved 25 percent of emission intensity reduction of GDP between 2005 -2016 and is on a path to achieving more than 40 percent by 2030. 
      • But for this, India will have to implement enhanced measures across the transport and industrial sectors as well to reduce emissions. 
    • Financial resources and technological support:
      • The updated NDC will clarify the need for international climate finance
      • India will also require its due share from such international financial resources and technological support.
    • No sector-specific mitigation:
      • India will not be bound to any sector-specific mitigation obligation or action. 
        • The Indian delegation at the UN’s mid-year climate change conference (SB 56) held in Bonn in June 2022 was opposed to the imposition of binding targets for any sector, fuel or greenhouse gas
        • This was done to avoid specific demands being placed on its coal sector, or on emissions of GHGs such as methane

     

    About Paris Agreement

    • It is a legally binding international treaty on climate change.
    • It replaced the Kyoto Protocol, an earlier agreement to deal with climate change.
    • It is a landmark agreement as it brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, for the first time.
    • It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, in December 2015 and entered into force in November 2016.
    • Conference of Parties(COP): 
      • It is the supreme decision-making body of the UNFCCC.
    • Aim:
      • The agreement seeks to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industry levels
    • Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): 
      • To achieve the targets under the agreement, the member countries have to submit the targets themselves, which they believe would lead to substantial progress towards reaching the Paris temperature goal. 
        • Initially, these targets are called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)
        • They are converted to NDCs when the country ratifies the agreement.

    Glasgow Climate Meet (Cop26)

    • Glasgow meet strengthened the Paris Agreement mechanism of eliciting Pledges from countries and ratcheting them up over time.
    • It requested countries to update and strengthen 2030 emission targets in their NDCs by the end of 2022.
    • It explicitly revolved around keeping 1.5 degrees alive through such pledges.
      • However, it came under criticism that it focused on target setting, without giving sufficient importance to the challenge of implementing those targets.
    • Narendra Modi’s ‘Panchamrit’ strategy was announced at the COP 26 in Glasgow conference into enhanced climate targets.
      • India will increase its non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 gigawatt (GW) by 2030.
      • It will meet 50 percent of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2030.
      • The total projected carbon emissions will be reduced by 1 billion tonnes from now through 2030.
      • The carbon intensity of its economy will be brought down to less than 45 percent.
      • India will achieve its target of net zero by 2070.