With India moving forward and promising to achieve the target of net zero by the year 2070, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has welcomed India’s move. It said although the announced goal for carbon neutrality by 2070 is far past the mid-century goal, which according to science, is necessary to avert the severe consequences of warming, this is nevertheless a commendable step for India. UNEP told Business Today, “This will call for significant multi-sectoral efforts and finance for India which still has huge dependency on coal for electricity and industrial manufacturing. UNEP in India stands committed to support the country in the development and implementation of a transformative road map to raise its ambition and achieve its climate commitments.”
However, achieving net zero goals for a developing country like India can be challenging. There are certainly going to be several challenges in meeting the ambitious climate goals till 2070. UNEP believes with a growing population and socio-economic development, the expected increase in India’s energy demand coupled with the huge gap in climate finance will certainly be two key challenges in meeting India’s climate objectives. However, this can be addressed with strategic planning, scientifically designed policies, strict implementation of sectoral and thematic policies, and enhanced investments in green technologies.
UNEP also believes climate goals will need to be mainstreamed across sectoral plans, programmes and budgets, and the private sector will also need to take a proactive role in aligning its business strategies and policies with the country’s climate objectives. Finally, climate actions will also need to be fast-tracked and supported at the sub-national level.
India’s commitment at COP26, other than meeting net zero by 2070, also includes the country to reach its non-fossil energy capacity to 500GW, meet 50 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable energy, reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by less than 45 per cent by 2030. It also includes reducing the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now onwards till 2030.
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