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India Pledges to go Net Zero by 2070 at COP26 in Glasgow

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PM Modi at COP26
 
India has promised to cut its emissions to net-zero by 2070. While delivering the national address at the CoP26 climate summit at Glasgow, as a ‘representative’ of developing nations, PM Modi outlined a five-point plan or ‘Panchamrit’ to fight the devastating effects of global warming and climate change.

What is Net Zero?

‘Net zero’ emissions means a scenario where the amount of greenhouse gases produced is the same as the amount removed from the atmosphere, by employing strategies like the planting of trees and deploying advanced technologies to capture carbon dioxide. China has said it would reach that goal in 2060, and the US and the EU aim for 2050. According to scientists, achieving net-zero by 2050 is the world’s best shot at keeping temperatures from rising above 1.5C of Pre Industrial levels.

Panchamrit – The Five-Point Plan

The Prime Minister affirmed India’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes and a net 45% carbon reduction among the five-point plan. The five-point plan goes as follows
1. On the energy front, India will increase non-fossil fuel generation to 500 Gigawatts by 2030 and fulfill 50% of its energy requirement through renewable energy by the same year.
2. By 2030 India will fulfill 50% of its energy requirement through renewable energy.
3. India will cut down its net projected carbon emission by 1 billion tonnes from now until 2030.
4. By 2030 India will bring down the carbon intensity of its economy by more than 45%.
5. By 2070 India will achieve the target of ‘net zero’.

India’s call for Lifestyle for Environment

The Prime Minister in his speech, asserted that India is the only country that is delivering in “letter and spirit” the commitments on tackling climate change under the Paris Agreement, adding that India is working very hard on tackling climate change-related issues.
Calling for lifestyle changes, Modi said that environmentally conscious lifestyle choices could go a long way in tackling climate change. He urged to make ‘Lifestyle for Environment’ a global mission. The Prime Minister reiterated that developed nations must fulfil the promised $1 trillion as climate finance, saying this should be tracked the same way as climate mitigation. “India expects developed countries to make $1 trillion available as climate finance as soon as possible. As we track the progress of climate mitigation, we must also track climate finance. Justice would truly be served if pressure is put on those countries that have not lived up to their climate finance commitments,” Modi said.
In his opening remarks at the summit, the PM had also drawn attention to the plight of small farmers facing the effects of climate change in India, forcing them to make changes in their cropping patterns. He then espoused the need to adopt knowledge from traditional communities living close to nature, and made a case to focus on ‘climate adoption’ rather than ‘climate mitigation’.