India submits low-emission development strategy to UNFCCC

November 15, 2022

NEW DELHI – India on Monday presented its “Long-term low-emissions development strategy” to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), during the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27).

The strategy was launched by the Union’s Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav, who is leading the Indian delegation to COP 27, which is being held in Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt.

Under the strategy, emphasis will be placed on the rational use of national resources with due regard to energy security. Transitions from fossil fuels will be undertaken in a fair, gentle, sustainable and inclusive manner.

The National Hydrogen Mission launched in 2021 aims to make India a green hydrogen hub. Rapidly expanding green hydrogen production, increasing electrolyser manufacturing capacity in the country, and tripling nuclear capacity by 2032 are some of the other steps envisaged alongside the overall development of the electricity sector.

The increased use of biofuels, especially ethanol blended in gasoline, the drive to increase the penetration of electric vehicles and the increased use of green hydrogen are expected to drive the low-carbon development of the transport sector . India aspires to maximize the use of electric vehicles, ethanol blending to reach 20% by 2025 and a strong modal shift to public transport for passengers and freight.

While urbanization will continue to be a strong trend from our current relatively low base, future sustainable and climate-resilient urban development will be boosted by smart city initiatives, integrated city planning to integrate adaptation and improving energy and resource efficiency, effective green building codes and rapid developments in innovative solid and liquid waste management.

The Indian industrial sector will continue on a trajectory of strong growth, in the perspective of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” and “Make in India”. Low-carbon development transitions in the sector are not expected to impact energy security, energy access and employment.

The focus will be on improving energy efficiency through the Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) program, the national hydrogen mission, a high level of electrification in all relevant processes and activities, the improving material efficiency and recycling leading to the expansion of the circular economy, and exploring options for hard-to-reduce sectors, such as steel, cement, aluminum and others.

India has a strong track record of improving forest and tree cover over the past three decades, alongside strong economic growth. The incidence of forest fires in India is far below global levels, while its forest and tree cover is a net sink absorbing 15% of CO2 emissions in 2016. forest and tree cover by 2030.

Transitioning to a low-carbon development path will entail several costs related to the development of new technologies, new infrastructure and other transaction costs. Although there are several estimates, varying according to the studies, they are all generally in the range of trillions of dollars by 2050. The provision of climate finance by developed countries will play a very important role and must be considerably strengthened, in the form of grants and concessional loans, guaranteeing scale, scope and speed, mainly from public sources, in accordance with the principles of the UNFCCC.

The strategy was prepared after extensive consultations held by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change with all relevant ministries and departments, state governments, research institutes and civil society organizations.

India’s approach is based on the following four key considerations that underpin its long-term low-carbon development strategy:

— India has contributed little to global warming, its historic contribution to cumulative global GHG emissions being miniscule despite representing 17% of the world’s population;

— India has significant energy needs for its development;

–India is committed to pursuing low carbon development strategies and is actively pursuing them, depending on national circumstances; and

–India needs to build climate resilience.

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