New Delhi: Nine months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the target of “net zero” emissions by 2070 at the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, India’s cabinet finally approved a new climate plan on Wednesday.
The new goals will be submitted to the U.N.’s climate agency as part of an international agreement where nations publish how they intend to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, known as nationally determined contributions. The U.S. hopes to achieve “net zero” by 2050, and China by 2060.
At the Glasgow meeting last year, PM Modi promised to strengthen India’s climate commitments. He had made five promises and called them the ‘Panchamrit’. Two of these were upward revisions of existing targets, the ones that have now been made official.
When India’s plans were originally announced in November last year, PM Modi also said that India would increase its current capacity for non-fossil fuel electricity, with energy from clean sources able to meet half of the country’s needs. India’s greener power generation has already passed 41 percent.
The emissions goals that India’s cabinet ultimately approved are largely in line with Modi’s announcement.
India now stands committed to reducing the emissions caused by activities for the nation’s economic growth by 45 percent by the year 2030 from 2005 levels, according to the new targets. The nation will also aim to achieve about 50 percent of its energy requirements from non-fossil fuel-based energy sources by the year 2030, and promote a federal government program that encourages people to make green lifestyle changes.