At COP27, India unveils long-term strategy to reach net zero, giving priority to energy and food security

Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt: India on Monday released its long-term strategy to achieve net zero emissions by 2070 at the ongoing COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. It came a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India’s net zero target as part of the ambitious “panchamrit” commitment to COP26.

Called the “Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy” (LT-LEDS), the 121-page document focuses on the “strategic transition” of several high-emission sectors, particularly electricity and transportation; urbanization; carbon dioxide removal for industry; forests; finance and investments. The plan will also focus on improving research, innovation, climate adaptation and resilience.

“With this statement, India joins the selected list of less than 60 parties that have presented their long-term strategies to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change),” said the Environment Minister. Bhupender Yadav at the launch of the report.

He added: “The two themes of ‘climate justice’ and ‘sustainable lifestyles’ are emphasized in our strategy along with the UNFCCC principles of common but differentiated equity and responsibility.”

The release comes amid tense negotiations between countries on how to reduce carbon emissions to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and preferably 1.5 degrees, above pre-industrial levels, in order to limit global warming. , as recognized by the Paris Agreement.

In its latest World Energy Outlook report, the International Energy Agency said India’s ambition to reach net zero by 2070 has played a significant role in limiting global warming.

Developing countries, including India, have demanded that their rich counterparts reach net zero emissions before 2050 to give the 1.5 degrees Celsius target a chance for survival. The world is projected to overtake warming by 2.3 degrees Celsius if the drastic changes are not implemented immediately.

At the launch, Yadav also pointed out that the plan relied on India’s right to a fair share of the remaining carbon budget to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. During the negotiations, the Indian delegation had taken home the point that any mitigation target to reduce emissions must take into account a fair distribution of the carbon budget. Times of Hindustan reported.

“This is the practical implementation of India’s call for ‘climate justice’. We have ensured that the strategy emphasizes energy security, access to energy and employment, while keeping the focus on our vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-sufficient India and Make in India, “she said.

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Energy transition

The strategies outlined in the plan include the expansion and stabilization of the renewable electricity grid, the gradual reduction of coal, the increase in the adoption of electric vehicles, the research and development of carbon removal and capture technologies, as well as forest restoration and conservation.

By 2032, India will also increase its nuclear capacity by three times, expand production and production power of green hydrogen as part of the Green Hydrogen Mission, the minister said.

Most of India’s electricity production depends on coal, with only about 20% coming from renewable sources. India has committed to increasing its installed renewable generation capacity to 50%, as part of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), or long-term climate goals.

The move to low-cost development will cost “tens of trillions” of dollars, according to the document. Yadav also said the plan makes it “clear that this effort to transform the Indian economy would require enormous financial resources.” India had requested at least a trillion dollars in climate finance during last year’s negotiations.

“Indian LT-LEDS should be seen as a living document. Future iterations should emphasize solid and transparent modeling towards net zero by 2070, clearer identification of sectoral co-benefits and trade-offs, and more detailed discussion with states, “said Navroz Dubash, a professor at the Center for New Delhi research for Policy Research, in a release.

The Center for Policy Research anchored the long-term plan and provided technical guidance to the Center.

The transition to development will prioritize energy and food security, the document says.

“The strategy emphasizes, in particular, the need and willingness of the international community to provide space for growth to developing countries such as India on the basis of equity and avoid trade links,” said RR Rashmi. distinguished colleague, The Energy and Resources Institute.

“The significance of LT-LEDS lies in the fact that it underlines India’s commitment to move away from ‘business as usual’ growth and ultimately reach the net zero emissions target. What is needed now is to integrate this strategy into the country’s overall development plan and develop a roadmap for the targeted transition of each identified sector within a specific time frame, “added Rashmi.

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“Lifestyle for the environment”

Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Mission LiFE or “Lifestyle for Environment” project, a global “movement” towards “conscious consumption”. Lifestyle for Environment, or LiFE, is also among India’s recently updated NDCs (nationally determined contributions).

In a separate event, Yadav said: “Life inspires each individual to contribute according to their abilities. Taking the stairs, using the bicycle to move around, reusing resources, cutting off the electricity when not needed, eliminating the use of plastic in everyday life are some ways to adopt an environmentally friendly lifestyle “.

Significantly, Mission LIFE appears in the draft negotiation text on the mitigation work program, a topic of discussion proposed by groups of developed countries to increase emission reductions in all nations.

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