India will achieve net zero emissions latest by 2070, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the COP26 summit in Glasgow on Monday.

Until Monday, India was the only major emitter that hadn’t committed to a timeline to achieve net zero, or a year by which it would ensure its net carbon dioxide emissions would be zero.

By 2030 India will ensure 50% of its energy will be sourced from renewable energy sources. India will reduce its carbon emissions until 2030 by a billion tonnes. India will also reduce its emissions intensity per unit of GDP by less than 45%. India would also install 500 Gigawatt of renewable energy by 2030, a 50 gw increase from its existing targets, Prime Minister said.

He added that in the spirit of climate justice, rich developed countries ought to be providing at least $1 trillion in climate finance to assist developing countries and those most vulnerable.

Mr. Modi’s statements were in contrast to India’s run-up to the COP where it had strongly resisted demands by developed countries to take on net zero targets. Several delegations from the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union had called upon Indian officials in previous weeks to coax such a agreement out of India. Achieving net zero by 2050, scientists say, is the world’s best shot at keeping temperatures from rising above 1.5C of Pre Industrial levels.

Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav had on Sunday said that principles of Equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) and, recognition of the very different national circumstances of countries be respected. Taking on net zero targets, requires a sharp shift to clean energy sources that several experts have opined, will impose a steep cost.

Earlier speaking a a side-event at the COP, Mr Modi said there hasn’t been as much focus on climate adaptation as much as mitigation and that is an injustice against developing nations.

There are changes in cropping patterns, there are floods and a great need to make agriculture resilient to these shocks, he added.

Mr Modi said sustainable modes of living being practised in certain traditional communities ought to be made part of school curricula and the lessons from India’s efforts at adaptation in programmes such as Jal Jeevan mission, Swach Bharat mission and mission ujwala ought to be popularized globally.

“I want to congratulate PM Modi and India for making a bold statement for low-carbon development. India has clearly put the ball in the court of the developed world. This is real climate action. Now, India demands $1 trillion of climate finance as soon as possible and will monitor not just climate action, but deliver 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 Arunabha Ghosh, CEO and Founder, Council for Energy Environment and Water, a think tank.

Source: The Hindu