India’s decarbonization action until now has been focusing on electrification (high share of renewables) and energy efficiency only. But the present crisis nudges for a far better approach to tackle the issue which besets India. The country will need an ambitious net-zero emissions building roadmap and target all new construction to be net-zero.
India has earmarked to lowering the emission intensity of its gross domestic product by 33-35% by 2030 and having 175-gigawatt renewable energy capacity by 2030 under the Paris Agreement of 2016. This can appear as a second wind on India to enhance its renewable commitment under the Paris deal with 450 GW by 2030 and phase out coal.
India will have to expand its spending to greater heights by going towards decarbonisation as a prime motive to fulfil the net-zero mark by 2050 and raise the spending to 11% of the GDP, according to a report by McKinsey.
According to the quantitative modelling executed on decarbonisation pathways for the Indian Economy, the GDP in 2050 is anticipated to be up by USD 406 billion in the net-zero scenario.
To decarbonise the electricity sector, India could follow the well-managed retirement of coal power plants and make significant investments in transmission and distribution infrastructure, and a doubling of storage capacity from BAU projections (450 GW by 2050).
India is now the fourth-largest emitter after China, the United States and the European Union, and as per IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report released on August 9, it will be among the most severely affected countries. Annual capital spending on physical assets in India would grow from around $300 billion in 2020 to an average of $600 billion between 2021 and 2050.
”India’s net-zero carbon emissions target of 2070 is momentous and praiseworthy, but highly ambitious to say the least,” an ORF statement said.
”India’s path to a prosperous low-carbon economy rests on three types of strategies: job creation in low-carbon industries, robust low-carbon economic growth, and peaking, and subsequently reducing, its GHG emissions in a way that does not disrupt development aspirations,” said Kelly Sims Gallagher, Professor and Academic Dean at The Fletcher School, Tufts University.