India’s renewable sector is growing rapidly, but according to a report by Climate Action Tracker, it is not progressing quickly enough to align with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The report also highlights that India is moving in the opposite direction when it comes to phasing out coal power.
The report analyzes the plans of 16 countries, including India, to decarbonize their power sectors and evaluates whether they align with the targets set by the Paris Agreement. It emphasizes the need for developed countries to phase out coal and unabated gas by 2030 and 2035, respectively, while developing countries should follow suit by 2040. The key to achieving a clean power sector is the accelerated deployment of renewable energy sources, with all countries aiming for above 80% of electricity from renewables by 2035 and 90-100% by 2050.
The report notes that no country included in the analysis has an explicit fossil gas phase-out plan. India and China currently have levels of fossil gas power compatible with the 1.5-degree Celsius target, but both need to develop long-term strategies for phasing out this source of energy. Germany and Chile are ahead in terms of renewables deployment.
India is recognized as a world leader in new renewable energy, with over 130 GW of new capacity installed by mid-2023. However, the report states that India’s current and future plans are not sufficient to meet the 1.5-degree Celsius compatibility goal. While India aims to add 300 GW of solar and 80 GW of wind power by the end of the decade, the report highlights that only about 50% of India’s electricity generation will come from renewables by 2030, falling short of the desired 70-75% threshold.
Coal remains a significant challenge for India, as it currently generates over 70% of its power from coal and plans to still rely on it for 50% of power generation in 2030. The report calls for a halt in the construction of new coal power capacity and the development of a comprehensive plan for the early retirement of existing coal plants. It also emphasizes the need for a clear fossil gas exit strategy by 2040.
In response to the report, India’s Union environment ministry challenged its findings by highlighting the concept of “fair share and cumulative historical responsibility of developed nations.” The ministry pointed out that India has been implementing various schemes and programs to mitigate climate change while promoting sustainable development and reducing poverty. India also advocates for developed nations to reach net-zero emissions before 2025 and make way for developing countries.
In conclusion, India’s renewable sector is growing, but the pace is not sufficient to align with the 1.5-degree Celsius target. India is urged to increase its focus on renewables deployment, phase out coal power, and develop clear strategies for the transition away from fossil gas. However, India emphasizes the need for developed countries to take greater responsibility in reducing emissions, given their historical cumulative emissions and their greater share of the global carbon budget.
– (PTI) Public Trust of India
– Climate Action Tracker Report