India announced on Monday that it would significantly expand renewable energy sources in its total energy mix and asked the rich world to contribute a trillion dollars to help developing countries make the energy transition.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said his country would aim to be “net zero” by 2070, but much more important were the more immediate goals he announced.
Speaking to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Modi said that India would aim to generate 500 gigawatts of renewable energy and ensure that half of its energy mix comes from sources other than fossil fuels by 2030. That means coal , which provides the majority of India’s electricity, would remain a large part of its energy mix for the next decade. India is one of the largest coal consumers in the world.
India is one of the few large economies that has not submitted an updated Nationally Determined Contribution, as stipulated by the Paris Agreement.
Modi said nothing about when his country’s emissions would peak, let alone decline.
India, an emerging economy, has nearly 1.4 billion people, a large portion of them young and of working age. It accounts for nearly 18 percent of the world’s population, but only 6 percent of global emissions today, and a negligible part of the accumulated greenhouse gases emitted in the past that are already warming the atmosphere.
Modi said that the carbon intensity of India’s economy, which refers to the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that occur relative to the country’s gross domestic product, would decrease by 45 percent by 2030.
OP Agarwal, director of the India office of the World Resources Institute, a research and advocacy group, said that focusing on expanding renewable energy by 2030 was “a strategic and achievable ambition.”
India has been under scrutiny for when it might announce a net zero target. Modi said 2070, which is 10 years after the promise of China and 20 years after the promises made by the United States and Europe.
India has pushed for money from industrialized countries to help developing economies make the energy transition, and Modi upped the ante on Monday. “India hopes that developed countries will make a trillion dollars in climate finance available as soon as possible,” he said.
The $ 100 billion pledged in climate aid has yet to be delivered. According to a recent analysis By Carbon Brief, India is by far the largest recipient of climate finance.