Countries across the globe committed to create a new international climate agreement by the conclusion of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in December 2015. In preparation, countries have agreed to publicly outline what post-2020 climate actions they intend to take under a new international agreement, known as their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). The INDCs will largely determine whether the world achieves an ambitious 2015 agreement and is put on a path toward a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.
India had submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change during October 2015. It has been revised and approved by the Cabinet during August 2022.
India at the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Glasgow, United Kingdom during November 2021, expressed to intensify its climate action by presenting to the world five nectar elements (Panchamrit) of India’s climate action. This update to India’s existing NDC translates the ‘Panchamrit’ announced at COP 26 into enhanced climate targets. The update is also a step towards achieving India’s long term goal of reaching net-zero by 2070.
As per the updated NDC, India now stands committed to reduce Emissions Intensity of its GDP by 45 percent by 2030, from 2005 level and achieve about 50 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030. The updated NDC also represents the framework for India’s transition to cleaner energy for the period 2021-2030.
The updated NDC reads "To put forward and further propagate a healthy and sustainable way of living based on traditions and values of conservation and moderation, including through a mass movement for ‘LIFE’– ‘Lifestyle for Environment’ as a key to combating climate change".
India’s updated NDC has been prepared after carefully considering our national circumstances and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC).
India’s INDC centre around the country’s policies and programmes for:
India’s INDCs have a strong focus on climate change adaptation. Of the 8 missions outlined in India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change, 4 efforts are focused on adaptation efforts – sustainable agriculture, increasing water use efficiency, sustaining the Himalayan ecosystem and creating sustainable habitats. No other country has been able to dedicate the same level of focus and effort on adaptation on as large a scale as India. Furthermore, India has also outlined the financial implications of the climate change goals, in addition to outlining its plan for developing and enabling technology transfers to facilitate INDC achievement.
India plans to reduce its emissions intensity by 33 - 35% between 2005 and 2030. However, India ‘ actions towards climate change mitigation have a strong development impact. To this effect , it is focusing on accelerating the use of clean and renewable energy by 40% by 2030, and on promoting efficient use of energy. By 2030, we also intend to increase our carbon sinks by creating an additional capacity equivalent to 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 through significant aforestation efforts.
To achieve its targets for increasing reliance on renewable energy, India is running one of the largest renewable capacity expansion programs in world . The efforts feature establishment of solar parks and power projects, anchoring a global solar alliance (InSPA), creation of Green Energy Corridors to ensure evacuation from renewable energy plants, implementation of the National Smart Grid Mission along with new programmes for increasing energy capacities from wind and waste conversion.
India is building its capacity to develop technology that will effectively combat climate change. India is promoting energy efficient technologies, as well as technologies driven by renewable and hybrid energy. Along with the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency, India’s Zero Defect, Zero Effect policy also aims to enhance energy and resource efficiency.
India is also advocating for IPR regimes that will enable global R&D collaborations for development and transfer of clean technologies . India is also looking to develop technologies to enable low carbon growth with special focus on technologies for clean generation from fossil fuels, energy management and storage systems for renewable energy. India is clear that mitigation efforts should not inhibit growth aspirations. India is focusing on bending the emissions trajectory without compromising the energy requirements that will enable the nation’s collective and holistic grow
Adaptation measures feature prominently in India’s framework for climate change action, and are a part of Indian lifestyles. India’s heritage embraces nature, and environmental consciousness is deeply rooted in its traditions. People here have learnt to live in harmony with nature. India has made lifestyle changes an integral part of its solution to climate change in cognisance with its population and economic growth.
Furthermore, India is one of the nations to have implemented measures to adapt to climate change on a large scale. Already, 32 of India’s 29 states and 7 union territories have submitted respective State Action Plans on Climate Change, which complement India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). In its NAPCC, the nation has focused 4 of its 8 missions on adaptation efforts, including: a) sustainable habitats; b) optimising water use efficiency ; c) creating ecologically sustainable climate resilient agricultural production systems; and, d) safeguarding the Himalayan glaciers and mountain ecosystem . India’s adaptation efforts include initiatives in agriculture, water, health, coastal region & islands, disaster management, biodiversity and ecosystem protection, and securing rural livelihoods.
India is implementing national schemes to promote organic farming, efficient irrigation systems, watershed management, improving soil health and climate resilient agriculture. India has set up the National Adaptation Fund with a corpus of INR 350 Crores (USD 55.6 million) to enable these efforts.
With a significant proportion of its population still below the poverty line, India is well - positioned to understand and balance this demography’s needs for upliftment with the global agenda for climate change action. India accounts for 2.4% of the world surface area, but supports around 17.5% of the world population. It houses the largest proportion of global poor (30% , 363 million people), around 24% of the global population without access to electricity (304 million), about 30% of the global population relying on solid biomass for cooking and 92 million without access to safe drinking water. These, geographical and other socio - economic factors make India highly vulnerable to climate change impacts.
The average annual energy consumption in India in 2011 was only 0.6 tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) per capita as compared to global average of 1.88 toe per capita. Additionally, India has been able to achieve an Human Development Index of 0.586 with this significantly lower average annual energy consumption . No country in the world has been able to achieve a HDI of 0.9 or more without an energy availability of 4 toe per capita.
India has a lot to do to provide a dignified life to its population and to meet their rightful aspirations. Given the development agenda in a democratic polity, the infrastructure deficit represented by different indicators, the pressures of urbanisation and industrialisation and the imperative of sustainable growth, India faces a formidable and complex challenge in working for economic progress towards a secure future for its citizens.
Given its experiences in effectively implementing climate change actions, India also knows that current adaptation efforts are not affordable or practical on a universal scale. Current climate change resolution efforts put the burden on the economically disadvantaged of society without accounting for their growth and development aspirations. As a responsible global citizen, India is willing to lead in adaptations efforts that will make lifting the poor across the world out of poverty central to climate change action
To view the complete INDC document, click here.
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