NRDC - Natural Resources Defense Council

11/30/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/30/2023 17:36

Taking Climate Action Forward: India Key to Dubai Climate Talks

COP28 venue in Dubai, United Arab Emirates



India, home to a sixth of all humanity, is absolutely key to the success of COP28 and to the world's response in the fight against climate change. As world leaders gather in Dubai this week, the window to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is rapidly closing. The talks this year are particularly focused on the First Global Stocktake, which recognizes that, despite significant progress since the 2015 Paris Agreement, we are still off-track in meeting its goals. Most importantly, it charts a path forward in avoiding catastrophic climate impacts.

Three issues are going to be key at COP28, from India's perspective: advancing climate action, emphasizing climate equity and finance, and building global support for collective action.

India's Progress since Paris

In the run up to the climate conference every year, NRDC and partners publish an annual summary of India's climate actions. Our latest report, The Road from Paris: India's Progress Towards its Climate Pledge, published today, takes a look at India's climate leadership at the G20 summit, progress on expanding renewable energy and reducing emissions intensity, investment in green hydrogen, while at the same time strengthening resilience to extreme heat and other climate stressors.

Advancing climate action

In 2021, at COP26 in Glasgow, India announced a target to achieve net zero emissions by 2070. India has taken several steps towards decarbonizing its economy. The renewable energy sector especially continues to drive India's climate action. Globally, India ranks fourth in renewable energy installed capacity (excluding large hydro), fourth in wind power capacity and fifth in solar power capacity. India's solar growth has been largely led by utility-scale solar-large scale solar projects were 87 percent of installations in 2022, a 33 percent year on year increase. The National Green Hydrogen Mission aims to accelerate the deployment of green hydrogen a clean energy source and put India firmly on the path to decarbonization. India is also on track to reach its goal of reducing the emissions intensity of its economy by 45 percent by 2030. But India has argued that the developed world needs to go faster on its net zero goals, maybe even become carbon negative by 2050. This year, India's submission to the First Global Stocktake states that "developed countries should have already peaked their emissions and must be on their way to becoming net negative, with peaking to come later for developing countries."

A worker installing rooftop solar panels on a building in rural India



Emphasizing climate equity and finance

India is poised to be one of four big economies - India, Indonesia, the UK, Switzerland - set to meet its Paris Agreement goals. Moving into COP28, India is demonstrating credible climate action and reiterating its position on common but differentiated responsibility and calling out the developed world to meet its promises on finance to encourage and enable it towards transition. India's long-standing position on equity and historical responsibility is captured it its submission to the First Global Stocktake: "it is considered unfair if those who have contributed the most to the problem do not contribute more to the solution than those whose contribution is much smaller."India reiterated its commitment to meet its climate pledges and underscored the developed countries' climate finance commitments: jointly mobilize $100 billion from 2020 for developing countries and doubling contribution for adaptation finance. Analysis shows emerging markets and developing countries other than China need $1 trillion dollars per year to make progress on key climate action by the end of the decade. India has pushed for a New Collective Quantified Goal to cover mitigation, adaptation and mobilize the required funds.

Building support for collective climate action

In 2023, India assumed the presidency of two major international forums - the G20 and the Clean Energy Ministerial - and consistently advocated for low-carbon transition solutions for Global South countries that balance development with emissions reductions. India championed the issue of energy access and energy efficiency during its G20 presidency, and the G20 New Delhi Leaders' Declaration steered consensus around tripling of renewable energy capacity and doubling the rate of energy efficiency globally, which are recognized as a major goal at this year's COP agenda. India has also launched the Global Biofuels Alliance with Brazil and the United States, which aims to bring together governments, international organizations and industry to facilitate the uptake of biofuels globally. India's leadership at the climate talks will not only be consequential for its 1.4 billion inhabitants but will have a profound impact on the future of our planet.

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