Decarbonisation in India and Net Zero Targets Zero waste Economy

The Energy Transition Advisory Committee (ETAC), functioning under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG), has published a report titled ‘The Green Shift: The Low Carbon Transition of India’s Oil & Gas Sector’ for Decarbonisation of the Indian Economy. ETAC as a body was formed to suggest the energy transition models for Oil & Gas Public Sector Undertakings.

The report focuses on enlargening the adoption of clean energy fuels like solar energy, green hydrogen, wind energy, nuclear energy etc. in the total energy mix of the country. This would help in the decarbonisation of the Indian economy which in turn would help to combat climate change and ensure sustainable development.

Why Decarbonisation?

Decarbonisation

Decarbonisation implies either the reduction or removal of Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere of the earth. It is a two-way process which aims to reduce the emissions in the atmosphere on one hand and absorb the emitted CO2 on the other. Hence, Decarbonisation is vital for achieving net zero targets.

  1. The recent policy pathway of the countries worldwide suggests that the earth is going to be 2.7-3.5°C warmer than pre-industrial temperature levels by the end of this century. Therefore, to meet the Paris Agreement target for limiting global warming, there has to be a sharp reduction in GHG emissions in the next 8 years by around 50%.
  2. There is an enormous climate change risk. WMO has predicted that the years between 2023 to 2027 will witness the hottest year on earth followed by 2016. India was the 7th most affected country in the world by climate change in 2019. Thus, decarbonisation is a must for India.
  3. India has committed to achieving Net Zero by the year 2070 to fulfil its promise to the Paris Deal. However, most of the energy requirements of India are fulfilled by thermal energy. Thus, it must be reduced to achieve net zero targets.

India and Emissions

  1. India is ranked as the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. Emissions in India will grow 5 times if emissions continue to grow at the current rate of 5%. Also, India accounts for 1/6th of the world’s population its total emissions are only 3.3% of cumulative global emissions. This implies that both historical emissions and the per capita emissions are very low in the case of India.
  2. The industrial and power sectors are the major contributors to India’s emissions into the atmosphere. According to a study, one-third of CO2 is emitted by the steel and cement sectors, one-third from the power sector, and the rest from transportation and other sectors. Furthermore, Agriculture and allied activities are crucial sectors for the Indian population which emit around 17% of emissions.

Ways to achieve Decarbonisation

  1. India is marching towards green energy sources progressively and is keen to eliminate the high pollution levels. It has committed to 500 GWs of non-fossil fuel installed capacity by 2030. Also, India is pushing for green hydrogen and ethanol blending which is cleaner as well as leads to a reduction in the import bill. India also has an advantage in solar energy due to its enormous photoperiod, however, the cost of solar power should be reduced.
  2. India imports a large amount of oil and gas, lithium, Heavy Rare Earths, and other important energy requirements which increase the import bill. To develop its domestic capabilities, India should forego these imports and develop its items.
  3. Energy Efficiency is very low in India and its affordability is very high. Hence, there has to be an increase in energy efficiency and cheap affordability must be ensured. The national-level building rating system must be updated in this regard.
  4. Green technology is the pillar of decarbonization. It has to be developed to ensure a smooth transition to green options. Therefore, India is targeting the same through the Production Linked Incentives (PLI) schemes. It has resulted in a spike in the domestic capacity of technology and related equipment & hardware. India is also working on technologies which use coal without causing much environmental damage like coal gasification.
  5. Industry, the largest energy consumer is planning to shift to cleaner solutions but there are some hard-to-abate sectors like Steel and Cement which have to devise technologies to reduce the emissions.
  6. Transportation is one of the major contributors to the GHG emission. Thus, the transition in the transport sector to fossil fuels consumption mainly depends on the shift in the auto sector to Electric Vehicles (EVs).
  7. carbon markets are one of the most effective means to award the industries which reduce emissions and penalise which exceed the limit. These markets will not be led to a reduction in emissions but also promote the development of technology.
  8. India is currently focusing on alternate fuels and waste-to-energy programs. Also, We have achieved the target of 10% EBP (Ethanol Blending Program). Now, India targets achieving 20% ethanol blending and 5% biodiesel blending, by the years 2025 and 2030, respectively. This is an eco-friendly initiative.

Panchamrit committed by India in COP 26

India committed 5 promises at COP 26 of UNFCCC. It adopted these commitments voluntarily and these are not binding on the GOI to fulfil these promises. However, Panchmrit showcases India’s commitment to the Green Future and Sustainable Development.

  1. Achieve 50% energy requirement from renewable energy by 2050.
  2. Increase the non-fossil capacity by 50 GW by 2030.
  3. Reduce carbon emissions by 1 billion every year till 2030.
  4. The Carbon Intensity of the Indian Economy shall be reduced by 45% or less by the end of 2030.
  5. Achieve the target of net zero by 2070.

Though India is trying to achieve all its targets, it is lagging in targets 1, 4, and 5 as per the committed pace. But, it has performed excellently in targets 2 and 3. India needs to improve upon the areas where it is lagging.

Also Read –

Indian Space Policy 2023-

India-US Summit-

Liberalised Remittances Scheme (LRS)

United Nations – Reforms and UNSC

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