India may not commit to mid-century ‘net zero’ timeline, but could consider enhanced climate target | India News - Times of India

India may not commit to mid-century ‘net zero’ timeline, but could consider enhanced climate target | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: India may not commit to the ‘net zero’ mid-century emission timeline as is being pushed by the US, UK and EU but the country appears to be amenable to an idea of putting out an enhanced target of climate action by aggregating all the new steps it has already been taking beyond its existing pledge under the Paris Agreement.
In that scenario currently under discussion within the government, India will revise and update its target ahead of the 26th session of the UN climate conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UK which may also be attended by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with other world leaders in November.
India’s new ambitious renewable energy target of 450 GW, land degradation neutrality and making Indian Railways a ‘net-zero’ carbon emitter by 2030, which the country has already been working on, will be part of the country’s enhanced ambition (mitigation goals). These actions collectively would not only further reduce emission intensity of its GDP (GHG emissions per unit of GDP) but also substantially increase the share of non-fossil fuels in the overall energy mix in 10 years.
“If you look at these goals which India has already announced beyond its 2015 nationally determined contributions (NDCs), it can well be aggregated to achieve much more than what we had pledged five years ago. Our ambition has, thus, already been enhanced voluntarily. It is just now a matter of putting it out together and submitting it to the UNFCCC,” said an official, privy to the discussion on the country’s preparedness for COP26.
The issues of India’s overachievement of present NDCs and new ambitious goals on different fronts came up for broad discussion during a meeting of visiting COP26 president-designate and former British minister Alok Sharma with cabinet ministers Bhupender Yadav, R K Singh, Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman, and PM’s principal secretary, P K Mishra, here in the past two days.
The ministers assured Sharma that India would work constructively for a “successful and balanced” outcome at COP26, reiterating the country’s position that the climate action must be “nationally determined”.
Extending India’s full support to the UK for COP26, environment minister Bhupender Yadav on Wednesday emphasised that the “climate actions must be nationally determined”. He also underlined India’s position, advocating that the “differentiation and operationalisation of flexibility provided in the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement for developing countries should be at the core of decision-making”.
Yadav also reminded Sharma of the needs of “higher concrete actions” in terms of climate finance and technology transfer by the developed countries.

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