The era of climate action is set to begin. With the US rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, the conversation and action around climate and environment are set to intensify. Taking measures in advance in order to not only prevent future pandemics but also to alter its global image after COVID-19, China has made some major commitments with regards to reducing its carbon emissions.
President Xi Jinping has pledged that his government will focus its efforts to make China ‘Carbon Neutral’ by 2060. In lieu of this, the Chinese government has released a draft policy from the National Energy Administration, according to which the minimum renewable power purchase is set to increase to 40 per cent by 2030.
According to the new document, China will direct the regional grid firms to steadily increase the amount of power purchased from clean generation sources from 28.2 per cent in 2020 to 40 per cent by 2030, in order to meet the country’s climate targets.
The document has laid out a draft plan which states that the power procured from the non-hydro power renewable sources will reach a minimum of 25.9 per cent by 2030. This implies that the country will rely on solar and wind power to meet its renewable goals and move away from the construction boom of large-scale hydroelectric projects in recent years. President Xi Jinping has concurred to it by saying that China will boost its installed capacity of wind and solar power to more than 1,200 gigawatts (GW) by 2030.
The targets set out in the NEA document are based on estimates that China’s total power consumption will reach 11 trillion kilowatt-hours and primary energy consumption will hit 6 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent by 2030.
Effect on India
India has been achieving its climate targets sufficiently in the last few years. While it has made a lot of progress in terms of new initiatives, its quantum energy consumption from renewable sources is marginal. With the US backing the cause of climate and China taking such substantial steps, the pressure to do more to reduce carbon emissions is set to rise for India. In order for the country to enjoy its global standing as an assertive power in South Asia, it will have to ramp up its climate policy. In addition to this, it will have to take concrete steps in order to garner support from the USA and other strategic partners on international platforms for various reasons. The country will therefore need to set quantifiable targets and ensure its efficient implementation and avoid unnecessary bleeding of resources.