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modi: Narendra Modi resists 2060 pressure, commits to net zero by 2070 | India News


GLASGOW: India on Monday committed to become a ‘carbon neutral’ country through a ‘net zero’ goal by 2070 with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing this major target at UN climate conference (COP26) and appealing to world leaders to make ‘lifestyle change’ issue a global movement – World LIFE – by shunning “mindless consumption” and adopting mindful utilisation of resources.
Hitting out at developed countries for their unfulfilled promises of mobilising climate finance of US$ 100 billion per year by 2020, Modi reminded them of their responsibilities and asked them to mobilise US$ 1 trillion to support developing countries. He said the world cannot achieve newer targets with old goals of climate finance.

The announcement of ‘ net zero’ was backed by Modi by spelling out how the country would take four other key steps – climate actions – to achieve ‘net zero’ through a clear timeline for other sectoral targets. Though many developed countries including the US, the UK and EU nations had been pitching for bringing India on board to commit ‘net zero’ by 2050, the country preferred to meet this goal by 2070 — 10 years after what the biggest polluter China has committed.
India’s other goals include a target to have 50% of its total energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030, reducing one billion tonnes of carbon equivalent of greenhouse gases (GHG) from its projected emissions by next nine years, reducing carbon intensity (carbon emission per unit of GDP) by 45% by 2030 from 2005 levels, and increasing the share of renewable energy from 450 GW to 500 GW by 2030.

Reducing one billion tonnes of GHG is quite substantial, considering the fact that the country’s entire GHG inventory is currently less than 3 billion tonnes and it is projected to be 4.5 billion tonnes in 2030.
Calling these “five goals” and actions including ‘net zero’ by 2070 a ‘panchamirt’, Modi said it would be India’s contribution to the world for its fight against climate change, and, at the same time, appealed the affluent nations to mobilise US$ one trillion to support developing countries for taking adaptations measures.
Modi’s announcement is clearly a marked progress on what India had committed in 2015 as its ‘nationally determined contributions’ (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. This would clearly update the country’s NDCs by increasing its previous target of 40% share of non-fossil fuels in total energy mix by 2030 to now 50%; decreasing GHG emissions in absolute terms and increasing the reduction in carbon intensity from 33-35% to 45% by 2030 from 2005 levels.
Taking up the ‘lifestyle’ issue which refers to how mindless consumption and extravagant lifestyle of affluent nations is responsible for increasing emission in the atmosphere, Modi in his speech also underlined how India has fulfilled its promises made in the past as well as under the Paris Agreement, but many developed countries have failed to do it despite big promises. He said India was the only country among the major economies which fulfilled its Paris pledges (NDCs) and has been on track to achieve the rest of its goals, and appealed to the developed countries to do so in terms of climate finance and technology transfer.
He said India’s contribution in climate change mitigation far outstrips its role in emissions. He said India which has around 17% of the world’s population is responsible for only about 5% of the total emissions.
Earlier speaking on the sidelines of the leaders’ summit, Modi said adaptation has not found its importance in the global climate debate and negotiations the way the mitigation (emission reduction) has got.
Citing examples of how the climate change-linked extreme weather events have been affecting agriculture and farmers over the years, he said adaptation must become the key pillar of the world’s fight against climate change.
Noting that not giving adaptation an equal importance is an “injustice to developing countries, which are more affected by climate change”, Modi suggested three steps to end such discrepancy.
“First, we have to make adaptation a key part of our development policies and projects. Projects like ‘Nal se Jal’- Tap water for all, ‘Swachh Bharat’- clean India Mission and ‘Ujjwala’- clean cooking fuel for all in India, have not only provided adaptation benefit to our needy citizens but have also improved their quality of life,” he said, citing examples from India.
The Prime Minister said, “Secondly, many traditional communities have adequate knowledge of living in harmony with nature. These traditional practices must be given due importance in our adaptation policies. This flow of knowledge must also be included in the school syllabus so that it is passed on to the new generation. Preservation of lifestyles in compliance with the local conditions can also be an important pillar of adaptation. Third, the methods of adaptation may be local, but backward countries should get global support for them.”
He said India had taken the initiative of Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) with this very idea of global support for local adaptation, and urged all countries to join this initiative.

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