India announced Monday that it will significantly increase renewable energy sources in its energy mix. It also called on the rich to contribute $1 trillion to assist developing countries in their energy transition.
The Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, also said his country would aim to be “net-zero” by 2070, but far more significant were the more immediate goals that he announced.
Modi made these remarks at the COP26 climate summit, Glasgow, Scotland. He stated that India would aim to create 500 gigawatts from renewable energy and ensure half of its energy mix comes out of sources other than fossil fuels by 2030. That means coal, which provides the bulk of India’s electricity, would remain a large part of its energy mix in the coming decade. India is one of the world’s largest consumers of coal.
India is one of few large economies that haven’t submitted a new Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement.
Mr. Modi said nothing about when his country’s emissions would peak, let alone decline.
India, an emerging country, has almost 1.4 million people. This large number is a large share of the population, many of whom are young and in work. It accounts for almost 18 percent of the world’s population but only 6 percent of global emissions currently, and a negligible share of the cumulative greenhouse gases emitted in the past that are already warming the atmosphere.
Mr. Modi said the carbon intensity of India’s economy, which refers to how much carbon dioxide emissions are produced relative to the country’s gross domestic product, would decline by 45 percent by 2030.
O.P. Agarwal, the head of the India office of World Resources Institute, a research and advocacy group, said focusing on the expansion of renewable energy by 2030 was “a strategic and achievable ambition.”
India has been closely scrutinized to see when it might announce a netzero target. Mr. Modi said 2070, which is 10 years later than China’s promise and 20 years later than promises made by the United States and Europe.
India has been vocal in requesting money from industrialized nations to aid developing economies in the energy transition. Modi upped his rhetoric on Monday. “India expects developed countries to make $1 trillion in climate finance available as soon as possible,” he said.
The promised $100 billion in climate assistance has not been delivered. According to a recent analysisAccording to Carbon Brief, India is the largest recipient for climate finance.