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Singh calls out developed world over lack of emissions planning

Singh said India pledged an emission reduction of 33-35% by 2030Premium
Singh said India pledged an emission reduction of 33-35% by 2030

  • We are the only major economy and G20 country whose actions in energy transition are consistent with the sub-2 degree rise in global temperature. We are the only G20 country whose achievements are way beyond the nationally determined contribution (NDC) we pledged in Paris, Raj Kumar Singh said

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Ahead of the United Nations’ annual climate change conference COP26 next month, Union power and renewable energy minister Raj Kumar Singh said India would have 66% of its installed power capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030 even as he criticized developed nations for not doing enough to cut carbon emissions.

“We are the only major economy and G20 country whose actions in energy transition are consistent with the sub-2 degree rise in global temperature. We are the only G20 country whose achievements are way beyond the nationally determined contribution (NDC) we pledged in Paris. We said 40% of our installed capacity would come from non-fossil fuels. We are already at 38.5%. If you add the capacity under construction, we are already beyond 50%. We will reach 40% by 2022, eight years before target. We will be 66% by 2030. We are way beyond what we pledged," Singh said at the Mint Energyscape conclave.

Singh said India pledged an emission reduction of 33-35% by 2030. “We have already done 28%, and we will cross the target," he added.

Singh said many countries have come out with targets for themselves that they will be net-zero by 2050 or 2060, which are meaningless if they continue emitting at the rate they are doing. “They want to be carbon net-zero by 2050 to limit the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees, but available carbon space gets occupied by 2045. That’s what I told ambassador Kerry and (president of COP26) Alok Sharma," he said.

John Kerry visited India earlier this week, his second since being named special envoy for climate earlier this year, as part of US efforts to prepare for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, or COP26, to be held in Glasgow between 31 October and 12 November. India is seen as the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the US, though with far lower emissions per capita than the other two countries.

Kerry pitched for India to announce a pledge to reduce emissions to “net-zero" by 2050.

“Now that COP26 is round the corner, those developed countries realize that they will be in focus, and, hence, they want to divert the world’s attention from their non-action," Singh said.

“The fact that they have not taken any step to reduce their emissions, they want to divert focus from that. That’s why they are making big announcements like net-zero by 2050, which means nothing. Gandhiji would have called it a post-dated cheque on a crashing bank. They have not told us what they will do in this decade by 2030," Singh said.

The minister said India’s per capita emission is one-third of the global average.

“If you talk about developed countries, their per capita emission is three to eight times of the global average. That’s how it has remained right since Kyoto. There is this reluctance to change lifestyle to reduce per capita emissions in developed countries," he added.

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