Getting India to Net Zero

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    • According to a recent report, to meet its goals of net zero emissions target by 2070, India will require an economy-wide investment of $10.1 trillion. 

    More about the report

    • The report is recently released in New Delhi and it is named as ‘Getting India to Net Zero’.
      • The report was released by: 
        • Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd, also the president of Asia Society Policy Institute, 
        • Former UN Secretary-General and Global Green Growth Institute President & Chair Ban Ki-moon
        • International Finance Corporation’s Head and Director of Climate Business, Vivek Pathak and 
        • Former Indian foreign secretary Shyam Saran
    • Advantages of target achievement:
      • The report also says achieving net-zero by 2070 would boost annual GDP by up to 4.7% by 2036 and create as many as 15 million new jobs by 2047.
    • India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets set in 2015:
      • The targets are likely to be met early within the next few years through current policies, says the report.
    • Peak in emissions:
      • The report said India could peak in emissions as soon as 2030.
    • Report suggestions:
      • According to the report, further policies, especially to boost renewables and electrification, could make net zero possible by mid-century
      • Ending new coal by 2023 and transitioning from unabated coal power by 2040 would be particularly impactful for reaching net zero emissions closer to mid-century.

    What is the meaning of Net Zero?

    • A state in which a country’s emissions are compensated by absorption and removal of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the atmosphere is called Net Zero State; it is also referred to as carbon-neutrality.
    • It is done through natural processes as well as futuristic technologies such as carbon capture and storage.

    Panchamrit strategy: 

    • Hon. PM 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.
    • India also recently updated its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) on the lines of this strategy.

    Challenges

    • Failure of the developed countries: 
      • The continued failure of the developed countries to fulfill their long-standing commitments on finance and technology is expected to make even the current transitions a lot more difficult.
    • Environmental shocks: 
      • There are changes in cropping patterns; there are floods and a great need to make agriculture resilient to these shocks.
    • Global carbon budget: 
      • Limiting the increase in the world’s average temperature from pre-industrial levels to those agreed in the Paris Agreement requires global cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide to be capped at the global carbon budget.
    • Arguments against committing to a net-zero target:
      • Huge revenue loss for poorer Indian states such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh
        • For states such as Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, close to 15% of the state revenue comes from the mining sector
      • These states would lose out on employment, as new employment in the renewable sector would be created in western and southern India which has better solar and wind resources.

    Way ahead

    • The updated framework, together with many other initiatives of the Government, including tax concessions and incentives such as Production Linked Incentive scheme (for promotion of manufacturing and adoption of renewable energy), will provide an opportunity for enhancing India’s manufacturing capabilities and enhancing exports
    • It will lead to an overall increase in green jobs such as in renewable energy, clean energy industries– in automotives, manufacturing of low emissions products like Electric Vehicles and super-efficient appliances, and innovative technologies such as green hydrogen, etc. 

    India must set an example by balancing energy use and climate goals.