India is among a small group of countries that are on track to achieve their self-declared climate targets under the Paris Agreement with their current policies in place, a new report released at the climate change conference here has revealed.
The report says that only nine of the 25 top emitting countries it surveyed were in line with achieving their targets mentioned in their respective ‘nationally-determined contributions (NDCs)’ that every country had submitted in the run-up to the 2015 climate change conference in Paris.
In its NDC, India had promised to reduce its emissions intensity — greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP — by 33 to 35 per cent below 2005 levels by the year 2030. It had also promised to ensure that at least 40 per cent of its energy in 2030 would be generated from non-fossil fuel sources, like solar, wind or bio-fuels. In addition, it had said it would rapidly increase its forest cover so that an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent is created by the year 2030.
A few years ago, in the run-up to another climate change conference, in Copenhagen, in 2009, India had promised to reduce its emission intensity by 20 to 25 per cent from 2005 levels by the year 2020.
The new report, prepared jointly by the NewClimate Institute, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, says India was “likely to overachieve” its target for 2020 and on course to achieve the promises made in the NDC for the year 2030. It also says that the projections made in India’s draft National Electricity Plan of 2016 — which talks about stabilisation of coal-powered electricity to 250 GW over the next decade and an expansion of renewable energy to 275 GW by 2026/27 — would, if implemented, were “expected to have substantial impact on (its) emissions”.
Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine, and Colombia were the other countries on track to achieve their climate targets, the report found, while the European Union, the United States, Australia, South Korea and Canada were among those that needed to take additional measures to fulfill their promises.
However, the report points out that just the fact that some countries are on track to achieve their targets does not necessarily mean that they are taking more climate actions than others. Countries have displayed different levels of ambition in fixing their targets and promising action.
Meanwhile, another report by the UN Environment Programme has said that costs of adapting to climate change in the developing countries by the year 2030 would escalate to US$ 140 billion to US$ 300 billion per year. The Adaptation Gap report builds on the Emission Gap report, that was released a week ago and calls on the countries to increase their ambition of climate actions.
Negotiators at the year-end two-week climate change conference today branched off into separate groups for informal discussions to build consensus on a range of issues. They will report back to the formal negotiating groups as and when they make progress on these issues.
One of these informal groups is discussing the issue of loss and damage, which has emerged as one of the key issues at this meeting, that is being chaired by Fiji, one of the several small island countries that are threatened by rising sea-levels.
“As it now seems, the actions being taken by the world on reducing emissions are not going to be adequate to hold the temperatures to within 2 degree or 1.5 degrees from pre-industrial times. The more there is gap the more are the chances of climate-related disasters happening in the most vulnerable regions, and the more pertinent the issue of loss and damages will become. Countries must realise that if they do not take adequate action on reducing emissions now, they stand to pay a much bigger price in addressing loss and damages emerging out climate disasters later,” Harjeet Singh of Action Aid said.