Announcing its action plan on climate change, India has committed to reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 using 2005 levels as a baseline. This announcement was made on 2nd October, 2015 when India formally submitted its climate contributions to United Nations ahead of climate talks scheduled in December, 2015 in Paris.

Setting ambitious targets, India has not only committed to bring down its Green House Gas Emissions unconditionally but has also pledged to substantially increase its share of renewable energy by 2030. With an immense push on clean energy sources, India has committed to achieve about 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030.To further fulfill this action plan, India has committed to increase in forest and tree cover by 2030 to create carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent. It has further elaborated that decarbonising sectoral measures will play an important role in meeting country’s goals in a climate compatible manner. This is an important milestone for India, which has put forward ambitious actions on emission reductions while clearly explicating its renewable energy and forestry targets. In addition to India’s efforts on emission reduction and low carbon development, India’s contributions have also emphasised on country’s adaptation needs to climate change. Stating the vulnerability climate change poses on different sectors in the country, India has also identified the importance of enhancing investments in development programmes in sectors vulnerable to climate change, particularly agriculture, water resources, Himalayan region, coastal regions, health and disaster management.

Setting a low carbon development and climate resilient pathway for itself, India’s INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) have also emphasised on technology and financing needs for enhanced actions against climate change. The government has said the new emission intensity reduction targets and adapting to climate change will require approximately $2.5 trillion at 2014-15 prices between now and 2030. Stating this, India has also highlighted the need to mobilise domestic, new and additional funds from developed countries to implement the above mitigation and adaptation actions in view of the resource required and the resource gap. On the technology aspect, India has advocated the transfer and grounding of technologies and their knowhow as a crucial measure for enhancing adaptation and mitigation measures in developing countries. Global collaboration in research and development of technologies and supporting their transfer free of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) costs, to developing countries could act as an enabling factor in this direction.

Considering its actions as fair and utmost ambitious, India has also reiterated development needs for addressing the challenges of poverty eradication, food security, energy and other sustainable developmental goals. Echoing the economic development needs of the country, the comprehensive pledge aims to have a balanced emphasis on economic development and environment.

Harshita Bisht

The views expressed in the article are those of the author’s and not necessarily those of Development Alternatives.

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