Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent

COP-26: CEEW Unpacks India's 2070 Net-Zero Target and other Climate Mitigation Measures

Speaking at the 26th Conference of Parties (COP-26) in Glasgow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India will achieve net-zero emissions by 2070. The PM has also announced that India will raise its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030 while meeting 50 per cent of its energy demand through renewables. India has also committed to reducing 1 billion tonnes of projected emissions from now till 2030 and achieving carbon intensity reduction of 45 per cent over 2005 levels by 2030.

Further, India along with Britain launched the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States initiative to develop the infrastructure of small island nations, which are extremely vulnerable to climate change. 

COP-26 Negotiations

Dr Arunabha Ghosh CEO, CEEW said:

In Glasgow, the call for climate justice was only partially heeded and unsubstantially answered. The failure to ramp up hard targets for climate finance and provide adequate support for loss and damage, in particular, has further eroded trust. The refusal of developed countries to open up carbon space for poorer countries is unfortunate.

The relative absolutism in the negotiations (hard push for issues that matter to developed countries and soft words on issues that concern poorer ones) demonstrates that we are still a long way from strengthening the foundations of collective climate action.

Real climate action can no longer be delayed. Developed countries must be held accountable for what they do and not what they say. Climate action must be also scaled up in climate vulnerable countries like India. We need a National Commission on Climate Change, as a constitutional body, to deal with climate change as a strategic risk and an overarching development priority. We must prioritise making every critical sector of the economy — and vulnerable communities — more climate resilient. Jobs, growth and sustainability must be the mantra for India’s development agenda and it must have a razor-sharp focus on meeting its bold near-term and long-term climate targets.

Latest Draft of the Cover Decision

Dr Arunabha Ghosh CEO, CEEW said:

We welcome the inclusion of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities and a new financial facility for loss and damage in the latest draft text of the cover decision. However, the text continues to fall significantly short of the action needed to keep 1.5 degrees alive. With every year of delay in climate action, we are reducing the available carbon space for developing countries to grow. If developed countries are serious about the climate crisis, they need to fulfil past promises and rapidly scale up support for loss and damage. The delivery of USD 100 billion can also no longer be delayed. Finally, developed countries must commit to achieving net-zero emissions well before 2050. The latest draft shows little progress on all these critical issues.

Launch of Green Grids Initiative - One Sun, One World and One Grid

Dr Arunabha Ghosh CEO, CEEW said:

"India's leadership of the International Solar Alliance now gets a further boost with the GGI-OSOWOG. ISA was conceived to aggregate demand and lower the cost of finance for solar for developing countries. Linking up the grids across countries, if successful, can greatly boost energy interdependence, energy security and help emerging markets leapfrog to a clean energy future."

Gagan Sidhu, Director, CEEW-CEF said:

"The Green Grids Initiative is important as we scale up global cooperation on climate action. Increased electrification from RE is one of the key building blocks for any emissions reduction strategy, and a grid that connects different time zones represents an ambitious alternative to expensive storage on both ends. Not only would it help meet climate commitments, it would also enhance energy security and meet development priorities."

Launch of Infrastructure for Resilient Island States

Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, CEEW said:

"India's institutional leadership for climate change includes the Coalition for Disaster-Resilient Infrastructure. Recognising the severity of climate risks, which can unravel decades of development, especially for the most vulnerable countries and communities, the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States is an important initiative. It will need a combination of on-ground assessments of climate risk, financial innovation to help build resilient infrastructure, and the local capacity to manage such facilities."

India's 2070 Net-Zero Emissions Target

Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, CEEW said:

“I want to congratulate PM Modi and India for making a bold statement for low-carbon development. India has just announced a net-zero emissions target here of 2070, backed up by strong climate ambition in the near-term. By announcing 500 GW of non-fossil electricity capacity by 2030; 50% of energy requirements coming from renewables by 2030; one billion tonnes of emissions reductions by 2030; the emissions intensity of the GDP to be reduced by 45% by 2030, India has clearly put the ball in the court of the developed world. This is real climate action. Now, India demands USD 1 trillion of climate finance as soon as possible and will monitor not just climate action, but delivered climate finance. Most importantly, India has called, once again, for a change in lifestyles. If we cannot fix how we live, we cannot fix how we live on this planet."

Dr Vaibhav Chaturvedi, Fellow, CEEW said:

“India's announcement to turn net-zero is much more ambitious than that of China or the European Union. We, at CEEW, expect this to provide a clear roadmap to Indian and global energy markets and accelerate the pace towards deep decarbonization and a 1.5 °C future. This announcement, in line with CEEW's latest report, will also provide a blueprint for India's transition to a low carbon economy. By announcing the net-zero year, the prime minister has also accorded a red carpet to foreign and domestic inventors who want to invest in research and development, manufacturing, and deployment of green technologies in India. India's efforts though will have to be supported by the availability of climate finance from developed countries. Without foreign capital, on concessional terms, this transition will prove to be difficult. According to CEEW’s ‘Implications of a Net-zero Target for India’s Sectoral Energy Transitions and Climate Policy’ study, India’s total installed solar power capacity would need to increase to over 5,600 gigawatts to achieve net-zero by 2070. Further, usage of coal, especially for power generation, would need to drop by 99% by 2060, for India to achieve net-zero by 2070. Also, consumption of crude oil, across sectors, would need to peak by 2050 and fall substantially by 90% between 2050 and 2070. Green hydrogen could contribute 19% of the total energy needs of the industrial sector."

Read our study: Implications of a Net-Zero Target for India’s Sectoral Energy Transitions and Climate Policy

For more, visit ceew.in/COP26