India has committed to go Net Zero by 2070. At the India-focused discussion on Sep. 20 on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), a number of Indian panellists that represented a mix of policymakers and private sector executives claimed that the country could achieve the target earlier, provided that the country works on certain aspects.
Challenges to be Addressed
India is currently the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, after China and the US. According to the experts, while India has set a deadline for reaching NetZero emissions, there are no sectoral targets or a planned roadmap to achieving that as yet. In order to meet the 2070 deadline, the country needs to work out a strategy with short-term milestones that it can work to achieve. For example, currently, the country is still heavily reliant on coal for its energy needs, and while measures are being taken to increase reliance on clean energy, there is no clear direction for a complete transformation for the same.
Another concern that was brought about by experts was that the country is at a crucial juncture in terms of its development. In order to meet its net-zero targets while still developing at the pace that it requires, the country will need to invent a new method of progress. This will not be an easy feat to achieve.
The third concern that the experts expressed was that of funding. In order to achieve its target, India needs an investment of $10.1 trillion starting immediately according to a report titled Getting India to Net Zero, released last month. If the deadline is advanced to 2050, the amount rises to $13.5 trillion.
The Way Forward
According to the panellists, it was important to ensure that the poor sections of society do not lose their entitlement to progress and advancement. Rapid electrification with a focus on green electrification could help meet both goals at the same time. In order to achieve that, the country would need to focus specifically on improving its strategy for transmission, distribution and storage at a rapid pace.
In addition to this, the country must focus on bringing about mobility solutions with a special focus on green energy by enhancing public transport and fast-tracking industrial green hydrogen. To carry out all of these plans, effective policy making will play the role of a backbone to the entire plan.