India has achieved 21% of emissions intensity target, claims Javadekar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

India was the only major G20 country that was on track towards keeping to its nationally determined commitments to halt runaway global warming. It had achieved 21% of its emissions intensity as a proportion of its GDP in line with its commitment to a 33-35% reduction by 2030, environment minister Prakash Javadekar claimed on Friday.

Mr. Javadekar was addressing a press briefing ahead of an international summit, called the Climate Ambition Summit, on Saturday to be jointly hosted by the United Nations, the United Kingdom and France, in partnership with Chile and Italy to mark the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Paris Agreement. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among 78 leaders expected to address it.

Attending heads of states are expected to, but not obliged, declare enhanced commitments to prevent global temperature from rising beyond 1.5C.

In 2015, ahead of the United Nations’ significant climate conference in Paris, India announced three major voluntary commitments called the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC): improving the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 below 2005 levels; increasing the share of non-fossil fuels-based electricity to 40 per cent by 2030, and enhancing its forest cover, thereby absorbing 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Also read: The Paris Agreement is no panacea

“We have already achieved 21% of our emissions intensity target, the share of renewables in our energy mix is 37.9% and our tree cover has increased by 15,000 square kilometre in six years,” said Mr. Javadekar. “Several assessments by independent agencies have said that we are the only major G20 country compatible with a less than 2C world.”

Chinese President Xi Jingping is also expected to address the summit.

‘Sprint to Glasgow’

According to the International Institute of Sustainable Development, the summit is positioned as a “sprint to Glasgow,” where the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is scheduled to take place from 1–12 November 2021.

On Saturday, six of the world's top 10 emitters will be present: China, the European Union, India, Japan and Canada (plus two senior U.S. Governors). Notable absentee big polluters are Australia, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico.

The Paris Agreement, adopted at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015, constitutes a landmark agreement on climate change that seeks to limit global average temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and endeavour to limit the increase to 1.5°C.

Also read: Is the Paris Agreement necessary?

The agreement, which entered into force on 4 November 2016, currently has 188 parties. All parties to it are expected to undertake ambitious efforts to support the agreement’s goals and communicate their related intentions every five years in the form of NDCs.

In the first round, 186 parties submitted their first NDC and two have since submitted a second one.

As per the Agreement, each successive NDC must represent a progression beyond the country’s previous NDC and reflect its highest possible ambition. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, among others, have been urging parties to submit enhanced NDCs as early as possible and well before COP 26.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 9:21:30 PM |

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