Los Angeles Times

India approves new targets for emissions

The plan is touted as a ‘significan­t step’ toward nation’s ‘net zero’ goal by 2070.

- Associated press

BENGALURU, India — Nine months after India announced its target of “net zero” emissions by 2070 at the United Nations climate conference in Scotland, the country’s federal Cabinet finally approved a new climate plan on Wednesday.

The new goals will be submitted to the U.N.’s climate agency as part of an internatio­nal agreement where nations publish how they intend to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, known as nationally determined contributi­ons. The U.S. hopes to achieve “net zero” by 2050, and China by 2060.

The approval comes as India is preparing to celebrate 75 years of independen­ce on Aug. 15 and with just three months left before the next climate conference.

When India’s plans were originally announced in November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said that India would increase its capacity for non-fossil-fuel electricit­y, with energy from clean sources able to meet half of the country’s needs. India’s greener power generation has already passed 41%.

The emissions goals that India’s federal Cabinet ultimately approved are largely in line with Modi’s announceme­nt.

India now stands committed to reducing the emissions caused by activities for the nation’s economic growth by 45% by 2030 from 2005 levels, according to the new targets.

The nation will also aim to achieve about 50% of its energy requiremen­ts from non-fossil-fuel-based energy sources by 2030, and promote a federal government program that encourages people to make green lifestyle changes.

Vaibhav Chaturvedi, an economist at the New Delhibased Council on Energy, Environmen­t and Water, called the approval a “significan­t step” toward India’s climate aims.

The U.N.’s climate agency had set a deadline of July 31, 2021, for various nations to update their targets that were initially announced after the climate conference in Paris in 2015. India was not the only laggard nation, as China and dozens of others also failed to meet the target date.

Indian officials say that the delay was a reflection of the peculiar challenges facing the country: On the one hand, as a nation with quickly growing energy needs, what it does has an outsized impact on the world’s climate goals; on the other hand, it believes that it’s often unfairly asked to prioritize climate goals over its developmen­tal needs.

“India’s updated climate action plan comes in a context where Europe and most developed countries are going for more drilling of oil and gas,” said Harjeet Singh, head of global political strategy at the Climate Action Network Internatio­nal.

“The delay in updating the targets could have been avoided, though. If they had announced these targets a few months earlier, it might have inspired other countries to act faster and more decisively on climate change,” he added.

 ?? Altaf Qadri Associated Press ?? INDIA’S plan includes achieving 50% of its energy requiremen­ts from non-fossil-fuel sources by 2030.
Altaf Qadri Associated Press INDIA’S plan includes achieving 50% of its energy requiremen­ts from non-fossil-fuel sources by 2030.

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