India, the world’s third biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has pledged to cut the carbon intensity of its economy 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030 and continue its push to install more renewable energy and increase forest coverage.
In its INDC submission to the UN, India deepened its current 2020 target of reducing carbon intensity 20-25% below 2005 levels, in line with expectations.
The plan said India would generate 40% of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources in 2030, which will require continued huge investments in new solar and wind power.
It also plans to increase its forest coverage, which will soak up 2.5-3 billion tonnes of CO2e by 2030.
“India’s emissions reduction offer for Paris is conservative and more details are required. This offer is undoubtedly the floor of what India can achieve, there is a good probability that India will overachieve these targets,” said Liz Gallagher with UK-based think-tank E3G.
The emission cuts will come at a cost. India estimated that mitigation activities for moderate low carbon development would amount to $834 billion by 2030.
“India’s climate actions have so far been largely financed from domestic resources. A substantial scaling up of the climate action plans would require greater resources,” it said.
“A preliminary estimate suggests that at least USD 2.5 trillion (at 2014-15 prices) will be required for meeting India’s climate change actions between now and 2030,” it said, a number that included both mitigation and adaptation.
The plan made no references to using the international carbon market.
“Development is understandably a primary concern for policy-makers, and this is evident in today’s announcement. However the fact that India is a developing economy should not be seen as a constraint but as an opportunity to demonstrate to others how ambitious growth can be achieved through a clean industrial revolution and building a strong low carbon economy,” said Krishnan Pallassana, India Director at The Climate Group.
India was among the last major emitters to submit the INDC, leaving a couple of the big Middle Eastern fossil-based economies, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.
By Stian Reklev – firstname.lastname@example.org