Glasgow: Offering a new mantra and raising a pledge for combating climate change, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday November 1 told world leaders at the COP26 that India will target a net zero goal by 2070 and aim at increasing its non-fossil fuel energy to 500 GW in its energy mix by 2030.
Terming it as ‘Panchamrut Ki Saugat’ – India’s contribution to climate action, Modi – on the first day of the High Level segment of the ‘World Leaders’ Summit’ (WLS) at the COP26 – said that India will reduce its carbon intensity by 45 per cent by 2030, starting with reducing projected carbon emission from now till 2030 by 1 billion tonnes and committed to have renewable energy component of 50 per cent by 2030.
He gave a new mantra for sustainable development through a sustainable lifestyle. Displaying his penchant for acronyms, Modi said: “‘One Word One World’ movement mantra LIFE, ‘Lifestyle for Environment’ can be a mass movement wherein instead of mindless and destructive consumption, there should be mindful and deliberate utilisation.”
India has 17 per cent of the world’s population but is responsible only for 5 per cent of total emissions, he said.
Calling out the rich nations by stating that the promises made till date have been hollow, he said, “Just like India has raised its ambition, the rich nations too need to raise their climate finance and technology transfer agreements cannot remain the same.”
He exhorted the rich nations to enhance to $1 trillion climate finance and low-cost technology transfers and said that tracking climate finance is necessary.
Taking cudgels on behalf of the developing world, he appealed to the comity of nations to take bolder steps.
Modi joined 120 heads of states/governments from around the world, including US President Joe Biden, at the high-level segment of the crucial negotiation platform for countries to work out their emission plans for collectively restricting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius at the COP26, the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that started on Sunday and will go on till November 12.
Reminding people that India is the only growing economy to have delivered on Paris Agreement in letter and spirit, he listed out India’s track record – how it is fourth in installed renewable energy capacity and how non-fossil fuel energy will touch 40 per cent of India’s energy mix soon.
He also said the Indian Railways, the largest such organisation in the world ferrying crores of passenger, will be net zero by 2030, reducing 60 million tonnes (MT) of emissions and LEDs have helped reduce emissions by 40 MT.
Speaking in Hindi and sprinkling Sanskrit mantras and words, Modi made an emotional declaration how, for him, Paris (where the COP was held in 2015) was not only a Summit but a sentiment and a commitment and India was not making those promises to the world but it was the 130 crore Indians promising themselves.
This COP26 is deemed critical because, as warned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), every additional 0.5 degree of warming will increase heat extremes, extreme precipitation, and droughts and for coastal areas, sea level rise will be a threat to their very existence.