India’s pledge among most substantive: Climate expert

  • India is focused on solar, green hydrogen and decarbonising the Railways by 2030 on all of which it will see tremendous returns, Stern explained -- but it will also need financial investments running into hundreds of billions of dollars.
(L-R) Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a session on the second day of the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow.(AFP Photo)
(L-R) Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a session on the second day of the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow.(AFP Photo)
Updated on Nov 09, 2021 05:23 AM IST
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ByJayashree Nandi, hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

India’s pledge was among the most substantive contributions at Glasgow climate change conference, Nicholas Stern, one of the world’s pre-eminent climate economists and Chair of the Grantham Research Institute at London School of Economics said on Monday during a meeting with journalists.

“PM Modi’s panchamrit (nectar distilled from five ingredients; in this case, the five promises) was among the most substantive at COP26. Institutional reform will be needed to implement those which has already begun,” he said.

India is focused on solar, green hydrogen and decarbonising the Railways by 2030 on all of which it will see tremendous returns, Stern explained -- but it will also need financial investments running into hundreds of billions of dollars. Some of this will come from public finance, some from external finance, and it will also come, increasingly, from companies looking for clean investment opportunities to meet their own pledges. India has to make itself an attractive destination for these companies, Stern said.

He things COP26 will help to some extent. “I look at it like this: before Paris we were headed for 4 degree warming, after Paris it was 3 degree warming, after Glasgow it could be 2 degree warming.”

He also thinks the ongoing summit was “unusual” because “PMs and Presidents came before the negotiations and declared their vision” an also because the “private sector is here in large numbers”. The first indicates intent and the second means companies “are looking for opportunities to invest”.

And he thinks Indian PM Narendra Modi’s pledge was “among the most important”. “There has been progress on decarbonising steel sector, green hydrogen and electric vehicles in all of which India can play a major role.,” he said.

Stern and Amar Bhattacharya, visiting professor in practice at Grantham Research Institute at LSE released a policy paper titled “Beyond the $100 billion: financing a sustainable and resilient future” which said developed countries’ commitment to mobilise $100 billion a year by 2020 to support developing countries on climate action is both an intensely important symbol of trust and foundational to progress on climate action by developing countries. Donors collectively fell short of the goal in 2020, but there is an opportunity to step up and deliver in 2022, it added. The paper also said that donors must double bilateral climate finance to $60 billion by 2025 from its 2018 level, and multilateral development banks (MDBs), triple their level of financing by 2025 from their 2018 levels.

India will meet 50% of its energy needs from renewable energy sources and transition to net zero emissions by 2070, PM Narendra Modi said in his national statement during the World Leaders Summit last week in Glasgow.

During his address to over 120 heads of countries, PM Modi said India will increase its non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030; fulfil 50% of its energy requirements from renewable energy sources by 2030; reduce its total projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes between now and 2020; reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by 45% by 2030; and achieve the target of net zero emissions by 2070.

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Saturday, November 27, 2021