Framing a road map for climate goal

Three months before the world assembles at Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt for the Conference of the Parties-27 (COP27), India, on Wednesday, updated its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), a set of long-term goals to cut carbon emissions and adapt to climate impacts. Every signatory to the Paris Climate Agreement has to update their NDC every five years and communicate it to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). India last submitted its NDC in 2015.

As promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at COP-26 in Glasgow last year, India aims to cut the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions emitted for every unit of its Gross Domestic Product by 45% from the 2005 level by 2030, and also achieve about 50% of its cumulative electricity requirement from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030. A third key objective is to focus on a healthy and sustainable way of living based on traditions and values of conservation and moderation through a movement called Lifestyle for Environment.

The updated NDC has no sectoral targets and a 2070 net-zero pledge, though the government hopes the three steps will move India towards that long-term ambitious goal. This is understandable since India’s development needs have to be taken into account while making any climate plan.

At a time when the Covid-19-hit world is seeing reduced action on tackling the climate crisis (though the impacts are becoming more and more pronounced across the world, irrespective of a country’s economic standing), India’s NDCs (though lower than the panchamrits declared at COP-26), shows the country’s enhanced ambition and puts sustainable development at the centre of climate planning. At the same time, the government has reiterated that it is up to the western world to remove finance and technology roadblocks, without explicitly linking this with its NDC. With its NDC, India has laid out its climate plans; others must now walk the talk.

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