India set to exceed climate targets: Modi

Emissions intensity cut by 21%, says PM.

December 12, 2020 10:43 pm | Updated December 13, 2020 12:48 am IST - New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses Climate Action Summit (CAS), on December 12, 2020. Twitter/@narendramodi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses Climate Action Summit (CAS), on December 12, 2020. Twitter/@narendramodi

India was not only on track to fulfilling its climate commitments but would go further, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the Climate Action Summit (CAS) on Saturday. However, he refrained from announcing enhanced ambitions or targets.

The online event was organised to mark five years since the signing of the Paris Agreement, in which 190 countries committed to taking action to limit global temperature from rising beyond 2­°C.

In his five-minute address, Mr. Modi said India had reduced its emissions intensity by 21% since 2005. Installed solar capacity has grown to 36 gigawatt in 2020. The country’s renewable energy capacity was the fourth largest in the world and would reach 175GW before 2022.

“We have an even more ambitious target, 450GW of energy capacity by 2030. We have also succeeded in increasing forest cover,” he added.

India had pioneered the International Solar Alliance, the Prime Minister said as well as the Coalition for Disaster Relief.

“In 2047 India will celebrate 100 years as independent modern nation. Centennial India will not only meet its own targets but also exceed expectations,” Mr. Modi said.

He was among several heads of state — including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan — who addressed the meeting.

Mr. Modi said that while looking to set higher targets, the world ought not to lose sight of the past. “We must not only revise our ambitions, but also review our achievements against targets already set. Only then can our voices be credible for future generations,” he added.

India has announced its Nationally Determined Contribution of reducing emissions intensity of GDP by 33-35% by 2030 along with its renewable energy and forest cover targets. However, Paris Agreement rules say that countries were expected to announce more ambitious targets by before the next UN conference in Glasgow, United Kingdom, 2021.

India, however, didn't announce new goals on Saturday. Mr. Modi, as well as President Ramnath Kovind have earlier announced that India was planning to increase its renewable energy capacity to 450 GW by 2030.

Ahead of Mr. Modi’s address, Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar had said on Friday that India was the only major G20 country that was on track towards keeping to its nationally determined commitments to halt runaway global warming.

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