In what may strengthen India’s climate commitment credentials in the run up to UN Climate Change Conference (COP-26), the country's emissions have come down 28% from levels seen in 2005, against the target of 35% reduction by 2030, according to union power and new and renewable energy minister Raj Kumar Singh.
“India has already achieved emission reduction of 28% over 2005 levels, against the target of 35% by 2030, committed in its NDC (Nationally determined contributions). This makes India among one of the few countries globally which has kept to its Paris Climate Change (COP21) commitments along with an exponential increase in renewable energy capacity," Singh said in his keynote address at the ‘INDIA-ISA Energy Transition Dialogue 2021’ on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
International Solar Alliance (ISA), co-founded by India and France, is the first treaty-based inter-government organisation headquartered in India.
“Considering the pace of development in the energy sector, India is determined to not only achieve, but to exceed its NDC commitments well within the committed time frame," Singh said, as per the statement.
India is the only major economy with actions in line with keeping global warming below 2°C of pre-industrial levels and the only G20 country whose energy transition is in sync with this goal, according to the Union government.
“He said that it is anticipated that by 2050, 80-85% of India’s overall power capacity will come from renewables. India has already touched 200 GW of peak demand," the statement added.
This comes against the backdrop of the country resisting the pressure of declaring a net zero emission goal. Instead, India has called out nations on their carbon neutral intent announcements and termed them ‘meaningless’.
“The minister apprised the members that it is a matter of immense joy and pride for the Indian Power Sector to have achieved the coveted milestone of 100 GW of installed Renewable Energy Capacity. While 100 GW of capacity has been installed and operationalized, 50 GW of additional capacity is under installation and another 27 GW is under tendering process As on 31st July 2021, 38.5% of India’s installed power generation capacity is based on clean renewable energy sources and with this pace we will reach the target of 40% by 2023. Presently India stands at 4th position in the world in terms of installed RE capacity 5th in Solar and 4th in Wind energy capacity," the statement said.
This comes at a time when the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said extreme weather events will impact lives, livelihoods, and businesses in India and South Asia.