India Doesn’t Rule Out ‘Net Zero’ Commitment

India hasn’t entirely ruled out on the possibility of agreeing to a ‘net zero’ target though it will not budge on demands from developed nations on making good on previous commitments, such as an annual $100 billion to developing countries for mitigating the impacts of climate change, facilitating technology transfer and putting in place a tangible market-based mechanism to activate the moribund carbon credit markets, according to sources.

 

Important Highlights:

  • Ahead of the 26th meeting of United Nations' Conference of Parties (CoP) that begins November 1 in Glasgow, the focus on making the meet a success is to have all nations commit to a 'net zero', or a year by when a country’s fossil fuel emissions would peak and at some point be neutralised by taking out excess carbon from the atmosphere.
  • All countries doing this by 2050, scientists say, would mean a chance of restricting average temperature rise to 1.5 Celsius provided emissions fall to around 45% of 2010 levels by 2030.
  • This, however, means deep and significant cuts to fossil fuel use that could affect the development trajectory of India and other developing countries.
  • A study by the think tank Council for Energy Environment and Water projects that for India to achieve net-zero target even by 2070, usage of coal especially for power generation would need to peak by 2040 and drop by 99% between 2040 and 2060. And, the consumption of crude oil across sectors would also need to peak by 2050 and fall substantially by 90% between 2050 and 2070.

 

India’s Position

  • India’s long term position in climate talks has always been that it will eschew the use of fossil fuel use but only gradually because it cannot compromise on development, that is now primarily reliant on coal.
  • Also because it goes against the core principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibility’ that requires developed countries, who are responsible for the climate crisis, to take on deeper cuts and pay developing countries for the environmental damage from rising temperature as well as finance their transition to clean energy sources.
  • However, delegations from the United States and the European Union have in recent months had several meetings with Indian officials to chart out a more ambitious pathway to cut emissions.

Net Zero Target

Net Zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. We reach net zero when the amount we add is no more than the amount taken away. Indeed, the UK became the world's first major economy to set a target of being net zero by 2050.