Topic: GS3 – climate action.
Global Climate Goals:
- The current boundary for discussions on global climate is set at 1.5°C, representing the average increase in global temperatures since pre-industrial times.
- The ongoing climate summit in Dubai aims to cap the temperature rise at the half-degree mark, as the world has already surpassed the 1°C increase.
Insufficient Emission Reduction Pledges:
- Global pledges to reduce emissions fall short of the required measures to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C.
- Estimates indicate that achieving the 1.5°C goal necessitates three times more renewable energy capacity by 2030, equivalent to at least 11,000 GW.
Global Consensus and New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration:
- The need for tripling renewable energy capacity to meet climate goals was formally acknowledged in the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration at the G-20 summit in September.
- As of now, 118 countries have endorsed the pledge, but two major players, India and China, have abstained from signing.
India’s Stance and Red Lines:
- India, despite positioning itself as a champion for renewable energy, has abstained from endorsing the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge.
- India emphasizes its commitment to tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030 but is reluctant to commit to a “phase down of unabated coal power,” a major red line for the country.
Coal Dependency and Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
- Coal-fired plants account for almost 70% of India’s greenhouse gas emissions.
- India argues that it cannot be compelled to abandon certain fuels, emphasizing its need for a diversified energy mix.
International Commitments and U.S. Perspective:
- The United States, along with 56 other countries, committed to completely abandoning coal for energy use by 2035.
- The U.S., drawing about 20% of its energy from coal, has plans to increase oil and gas production in 2030, showcasing a paradox in major economies’ commitment to renewable energy.
Need for Genuine Commitment:
- The global commitment to renewable energy needs to include an honest dedication to replacing existing and future fossil fuel capacity with clean energy.
- Mere pledges and declarations hold little value without concrete plans to actively replace fossil fuel usage with renewable alternatives.
Question: What are the key challenges and considerations for India in endorsing the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge, given its commitment to tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030 and the significant role of coal-fired plants in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions?