23 May 2024 : Daily Answer Writing

Q1) India’s path to achieve net zero emissions by 2070 is beset with multiple challenges. Identifying these challenges, suggest measures to help India achieve the net-zero target.

(250 Words/15 Marks)

Net zero emission refers to an ideal state where the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) added into the atmosphere is balanced by the amount of GHGs removed. In the 2021 Glasgow climate summit (COP26), India committed itself to net zero emission target by 2070 as part of a 5-point action plan.

India’s path to achieve net zero emissions by 2070 is beset with multiple challenges:

  1. Finance: Transition to a net-zero emissions economy requires substantial investments in renewable energy infrastructure, carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, and energy-efficient systems.

E.g., as per a study, India will need approximately $10 trillion to meet its net zero emission targets.

  1. Technological barriers: Most of available technologies are concentrated in few developed nations. Divergences on IPR policies hinder technology transfer related to clean energy. Issues of access will hinder solutions like green hydrogen, nuclear energy, FCEV. etc.
  2. Supply chain disruptions of strategic goods needed for production of clean energy.

E.g., during Covid-19 lithium’s supply was disrupted; skewed concentration of rare earth minerals.

  1. Consumerism is part and parcel of market economy; hurdle in path of circular economy.

E.g., low life-cycle of electronic items, vehicle ownership vs public transport etc.

  1. Climate cooperation:
  2. a) Overlooking of historical responsibilities by developed countries for equitable burden of climate action.

E.g., the commitment to mobilise $100 billion to developing countries remains a non-starter.

  1. b) Obstructionist role of certain nations.

E.g., China blocking India’s entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) which limits India’s access to nuclear fuel and reprocessing enrichment technology.

  1. Other challenges:
  2. a) Transition to electric vehicles will disrupt India’s globally competitive automobile sector and petrochemical industry.
  3. b) Food security and income/ job security; main source of livelihood in India is agriculture but it is also a significant contributor to GHG emission.

Following measures can help India achieve the net zero target:

  1. Investing in research and innovation; promote the indigenous development of clean technological solutions for decarbonization; incentivize private sector participation.

E.g., India’s Clean Energy Research Initiative.

  1. Accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro power through incentives for renewable energy projects.

E.g., NAPCC, Green Hydrogen Mission, etc.

  1. There is a need to shift towards scientific agricultural practices, in order to curb the high level of emissions from farm sector.

E.g., scientific treatment of stubble, Climate Smart Agriculture, ZBNF, prudent use of fertilizers, etc.

  1. Periodic energy audit of large corporations can help in rationalising their emission intensities.

E.g., energy audit of railways, energy PSUs, etc.

  1. India needs to up-scale its capacity of domestic production of various intermediary goods for clean energy production.

E.g., solar photo-voltaic cells for leveraging the solar energy potential.

  1. Encouraging behavioral changes among individuals and businesses to promote responsible consumption and production (SDG 12); adopting LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment).

E.g., carpooling, switching off engine at red light, green buildings, using cloth/jute bags, etc.

 

India has embarked on an ambitious path to attain a net zero emission target by 2070. To achieve this goal joint efforts are warranted from government, industry, and the people. Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) framework, Loss and Damage Fund are steps in right direction

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