India might achieve net-zero carbon emissions target by 2070: Report

India will be able to achieve its target of net-zero carbon emissions during 2065-2070 as the country’s greenhouse emissions will peak by 2035 and if it stops coal usage by the next decade, as per the report titled ‘Getting Net Zero Approach for India at CoP 26’.

However, this will also depend on rich countries doubling their climate expenditure to USD 200 billion each year for the following period. The paper also suggested that India should declare its target year at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference which will be held in the U.K. from October 31.

The study stated that India’s traditional argument that it must emit carbon for the country’s development is no longer viable as non-emitting energy alternatives have now been made widely available.

As per the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report which was released on 9 August 2021, India is the fourth-largest carbon emitter after China, the U.S., and the European Union and will be among the most severely affected countries by global warming.

While the announcement of 2050 as the target date brings public attention to the need to reduce emissions, the report claims that is crucial to understand that having a common target date for all economies is not the best way to fight global warming.

India needs short-term decarbonization targets along with other strategies for the next three decades to achieve its net-zero target. The best short-term target for India would be a planned phase-out of coal-based power generation.

Completely phasing out coal will lead to huge revenue loss as well as employments. However, the report cites that the development of the renewable sector, created by southern and western India, will lead to new employment opportunities.

The country, however, should not commit to a net-zero target without proper international financial support. This finance could be divided into private investments that will respond to market conditions, internet finance, and other multi-lateral inflows.

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