Model Question and Answers for APSC | In COP26 held at Glasgow, UK India has committed to achieve the target of net zero emission by 2070. What are the implications of the Commitment? (APSC 2020)
Ans : At the ongoing COP 26 Summit in Glasgow, India assured its cooperation to tackle climate change in earnest. India announced a few ambitious targets at the Summit, most of which have a 2030 deadline. The last target, which is the most ambitious of all, is a commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been pressing to become net-zero by 2050 to limit the rise in the overall temperature to under 1.5 degrees C, and to eventually go back to preindustrial levels by 2100.
The implications of the Commitment
1. Finance and technology: For a fossil-fuel dependent India, to achieve such targets would require a humongous amount of investment. India has been vociferously demanding both – climate finance and technology transfer-- to hasten its transition to a low carbon economy.
2. Impact on Economy: It isn’t easy to achieve net zero, especially when the associated risks can differently impact the economies of different geographies and sectors.
3. Impact on livelihood: It also means the transition would affect the livelihood of million-plus fossil fuel-dependent workers unless there is a well-meaning plan to rehabilitate them.
4. Large goal of renewables: At present India mostly runs on fossil fuel, despite making stupendous progress on tapping renewable energy sources. India’s fresh commitment at Glasgow to achieve the 500 GW non-fossil fuel target by 2030 translates to the heavy-duty installation of solar, wind and nuclear energy requiring land, investment etc
5. Collaboration: A number of stakeholders have to rise to this new challenge. Policymakers, regulators, financial institutions, public markets and boards & shareholders -- all included.
In the end, we have to understand that combating climate change is a priority. Despite its several handicaps, India has offered to march along with its peers in the developed world to achieve climate goals. The stakeholders i.e., the government, regulators and businesses will have to ensure that the transition to clean energy takes place through the development and implementation of sustainable investment policies and financing the cost of transition is as important as the transition itself.