Vishwa Mohan, TNN|Feb 12, 2019, 08.40 PM IST0Comments
NEW DELHI: “India is well on track to achieve its pre-2020 climate goal and the country will also meet its target of installing 175GW of renewable energy by 2022,” said Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday while releasing his ministry’s brief overview on various initiatives taken towards combating and adapting to climate change.
Compiled as a coffee table book (India – Spearheading Climate Solutions), the ministry’s overview of its climate actions features the government’s flagship schemes – ‘UJALA’ for LED lights distribution and ‘UJJWALA’ for distributing clean cooking stoves to women below poverty line – and the country’s leadership role in setting up International Solar Alliance (ISA).
Besides flagging the country’s current renewable energy push and several other measures under various missions, the minister also referred to India’s second Biennial Update Report (BUR-II) on national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory while expressing his confidence on achieving climate targets by India.
The BUR-II, submitted to the UN body on climate change in December last year, shows that the country has already reduced its emission intensity by 21% between 2005-2014 and it would certainly meet both its Copenhagen and Paris commitments to reduce emission intensity of its GDP (emission per unit of GDP) by 2020 and 2030, respectively.
Though India’s total GHG emissions have increased from 2.136 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent of the GHG in 2010 to 2.607 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent of GHG in 2014, the growth trajectory shown in the BUR-II clearly put the country on track to meet its global climate pledges.
Under its Copenhagen commitments, India made a voluntary pledge in 2010 to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP by 20-25% from 2005 levels by 2020 (excluding emissions from agriculture). Later in 2015, the country submitted its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, committing to reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35% from 2005 levels by 2030.
India under its Paris pledges also committed to achieve 40% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030. The BUR-II shows that the country’s share of non-fossil fuel electricity generation had already reached 35.5% in June, 2018.
It noted that the share of non-fossil sources increased by over 5% in merely last three years (from 30.5% in March, 2015 to 35.5% in June last year) – a clear signal of India’s pace towards solar, wind and biofuel.