India pledges to cut emissions by 33-35% in 15 years

03 October 2015

India today unveiled a climate action plan targeting 33-35 per cent reduction in carbon emission levels over a 15-year period ending 2030, in what it termed as a fair and balanced commitment to protect the environment, based on its own agenda for economic development.

In a climate-change policy statement released ahead of a UN summit in Paris in December, India has promised to make its economy more energy efficient and cut emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

India, the world's third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, would need to spend around $206 billion between 2015 and 2030 for implementing the climate protection actions that would help make the planet more livable.

"Through this submission, India intends to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 level. This commitment is further echoed in India's actions in climate change adaptation with setting up its own 'National Adaptation Fund'," said New Delhi's 38-page document.

"India's Intended Nationally Determined Contributions is fair and ambitious considering the fact that India is attempting to work towards low carbon emission pathway while endeavouring to meet all the developmental challenges the country faces today."

But, unlike the United States, China and other big nations, which have announced peak years for emissions, New Delhi has ruled out committing to absolute cuts in carbon emissions.

India also said it would target 40 per cent cumulative installed power capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.

For achieving a 33-35 per cent reduction in carbon emissions across sectors, including agriculture, forestry, fisheries infrastructure, water resources and ecosystems, India would need to spend around $206 billion between 2015 and 2030, according to preliminary estimates.

"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...," said the statement, which was lodged on Thursday with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

A preliminary estimate suggests that at least $2.5 trillion will be required for meeting India's climate change actions between now and 2030, it said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met the US President Barack Obama, in New York City ahead of his address of the UN General Assembly. He also met the President of France Francois Hollande and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron.

Four common themes that were discussed at the meetings were climate change, terrorism, India's desire for membership of the four export control regimes, and reform of the United Nations Security Council.

On climate change, the Prime Minister asserted that India's commitment is second to none. He said India had sought permission to announce its INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) on October 2nd, Gandhi Jayanti, though the deadline is 1 October.

The prime minister said that the emphasis should not be solely on emission caps, but should also be on providing finance and technology for clean energy to the developing countries. He also spoke of his vision for India to produce 175 GigaWatts of renewable energy.

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