Kshitij PujariDec 03, 2018 18:09:29 IST
Climate change has become one of the biggest talking points in the world at the moment. India is also doing its part to move ahead for a sustainable future.
The Institute for Energy Economic and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), an international organisation that researches impacts of energy and renewables on finance and the economy, claims that India could meet as much as 40 percent of its total energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, the Indian Express reported.
This is one of the biggest commitments India has made towards its climate change goals – and has aimed to deliver on it ten years ahead of the original deadline of 2030.
Apart from that, the government has also committed to cutting down emissions by about 35 percent of the country's GDP by 2030, effectively creating a carbon sink of nearly 3 billion tonnes by 2030 by afforestation.
The IEEFA also recently published a report on why a proposed power plant in Uttar Pradesh – the Khurja coal-to-energy plant – would be a bad idea. The project, which was slated as a solution to power shortages in 2010, has been delayed multiple times since.
The report makes an example of Khurja as an outdated solution – overpriced, no longer relevant and sure to worsen Delhi's pollution problems. "The renewable energy power generated in India is cheaper than the proposed Khurja plant," the report concludes. The IEEFA's full investigative report can be found here.
Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan is due to give India's progress at the current COP24 climate summit later today. United Nation's Climate change conference, called the COP24 begun today in Poland, bringing together world leaders to decide on the fate of global climate change policy to address the mounting threats to poses to both people and planet.
Some of these policies were agreed upon during the Paris climate agreement in 2015, following which the COP24 will help nations agree on how to implement them. Just how many promises were made for climate change in the COP meetings?
At the COP21 in 2015, the key point of discussion was how a universal agreement on climate can be reached to keep the rise in global temperatures this century below 2°C. The conference, held in Paris, had 196 countries participating in it to set a course towards a zero-emissions future. All the countries came away from Paris agreeing that the inevitable temperature rise should not exceed 1.5°C.
Towards this, 20 countries announced an increase in R&D investments for clean energy.
Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom announced $5 billion in funding to protect forests. $1 trillion was to be mobilised by a new global alliance for solar energy.
Over 400 cities across the world targetted cutting their emissions by half.
Goldman Sachs announced $150 billion in clean energy projects and technology by 2025.
China – one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases — had announced that it would designate $3.1 billion through its South-South Climate Cooperation Fund to fund climate change mitigation.
Australia had promised to reduce emissions to 26-28 percent on 2005 levels by 2030 and also promised a $2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund along with improvements to its Safeguard Mechanism.
Now, experts are warning that Australia is going to miss its anti-pollution targets as recent reports have shown that greenhouse gas emissions have climbed 1.3 percent.
The Trump administration last year walked the US out of the Paris Climate accords and has often said that global warming is a hoax. The withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement also meant that other countries would not make similar efforts if the biggest emitter of all is not part of the solution.
This has put China centre-stage as the leader taking the reigns on climate change policy.
With all that has transpired between the Paris Agreement in 2015 and the COP24 today, many academics and researchers have come to an agreement that the global climate crisis needs to be urgently addrssed, and given far greater importance by leaders than it presently is.
The COP24 will end with an exchange of action points and revised targets for the steps taken by the various member countries towards meeting the 1.5°C, which no single country is on track to do, according to a recent UN report.
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