India Is the Only G20 Nation on Track to Meet Paris Agreement’s 2°C Goal: Report
India is the only “2°C compatible” country out of all the G20 nations, including the US, Brazil, Australia and several EU countries, a new report has found.
The Paris Agreement, which came into force in 2016, aims to strengthen “global response to the threat of climate change” through Nationally Determined Contributions, commonly known as NDCs. The goal of the Paris Agreement is to keep global warming in check — below a hard, upper ceiling of 2°C above pre-industrial levels, while striving to limit it even further to 1.5°C.
Called the Climate Transparency Report 2020, the annual review was prepared by an international partnership of 14 research and non-governmental organizations, and based on 100 indicators for adaptation, mitigation and finance.
The report credits “renewable energy and green transport initiatives, such as the “Green Railway Initiative,” and “several energy efficiency and renewable energy expansion policies in effect” by the Indian government for staying on track to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals. It also lauded India’s afforestation program “designed to stimulate the rural and semi-urban economy while providing essential ecosystem benefits.” Moreover, the report also notes that renewable sources like solar, wind and modern biomass account for around 9.2% of India’s energy supply, while the G20 average is only 6.4%.
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However, despite the progress, India is still not on track to reach the Paris Agreement’s long-term 1.5°C target, which would require India to significantly limit its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. The report comes at a time when Delhi is experiencing worse air pollution than last year. In addition, according to the WHO, nine out of the 10 most polluted cities in the world are in India.
The report recommends subsidization of renewable energy, phasing out coal, and taking stronger action to the increase share of electronic vehicles in its transport sector by 2030 as key opportunities to help the country perform better. “India could become a global leader if it abandoned plans to build new coal-fired power and phases out coal use for power by 2040,” the report noted.
“Today, we are focused on saving our citizens and economies from the effects of the global pandemic. Equally important is to keep our focus on fighting climate change. Climate change must be fought not in silos but in an integrated, comprehensive and holistic way… We should do so with a spirit of cooperation and collaboration,” PM Narendra Modi said at a virtual event on safeguarding the planet during the G20 Summit 2020.