India, accounting for 6.9% of global carbon emissions, faces a pivotal challenge as the third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide. In a bid to mitigate this environmental crisis, India pledged in October 2015 to reduce its GDP’s emissions intensity by 20-25% from 2005 levels by 2020 and further by 33-35% by 2030.

Initiatives Already Undertaken:

  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC): Launched in 2008, this comprehensive plan encompasses eight National Missions, focusing on different aspects of climate change.
  • Net Zero Target: India’s aspiration to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070 demonstrates its commitment towards a sustainable future.
  • National Hydrogen Mission: India’s promotion of ‘Green Hydrogen’ production aligns with renewable energy goals.
  • Electric Mobility Plan: Through schemes like FAME-I and FAME-II, India promotes electric vehicle adoption.
  • Bonn Challenge: Joining this initiative aims to counter land degradation, an integral part of climate resilience.
  • Methanol Economy Initiative: Expanding coal gasification showcases innovative methods to address climate concerns.
  • Biomass Mission: Encouraging biomass utilization in coal-based thermal power plants contributes to cleaner energy.

Challenges and Necessary Steps:

  • Economic Realities vs. Long-term Goals: Pressing economic needs and unforeseen events like the Russia-Ukraine conflict and COVID-19 pandemic often divert focus from long-term environmental objectives.
  • Democratic Political Landscape: India’s democratic setup sometimes impedes consistent commitment to sustained environmental objectives.
  • Innovations for Climate Resilience: Carbon Capture and Storage: Implementing technologies like the Net Zero Teesside (NZT) project can play a crucial role.
  • Green Industrialization Strategy: Aligning economic activities with climate goals necessitates effective policies and institutions.
  • Decarbonization of Hard-to-Abate Sectors: Prioritizing technologies like battery storage, green hydrogen, and carbon capture can transform challenging sectors.
  • Green Job Creation: Emulating China’s success in creating jobs through renewable technologies is imperative.
  • Global Collaboration: International partnerships, exemplified by the International Solar Alliance, amplify climate innovation efforts.
  • Promotion of Clean Coal Technology: Developing partnerships to advance clean coal technology, as suggested by Arvind Subramanian, can offer transitional solutions.
  • Advancing Nuclear Fusion: Fast-tracking projects like ITER with India’s active participation can accelerate clean energy deployment.
  • Strategic Energy Partnerships: Collaborating with nations like the US for technology development, such as CCUS, is essential.
  • Behavioral Changes: Encouraging use of eco-friendly alternatives like bioplastics fosters sustainable consumption.
  • LiFE Movement: Aligning with Prime Minister’s LiFE slogan fosters responsible living in harmony with the planet.
  • UNFCC Recommendations: Implementing climate technologies such as drought-resistant crops and early warning systems enhances resilience.

Given India’s heightened vulnerability to climate change impacts, addressing the challenge requires comprehensive and collaborative efforts. As initiatives continue to unfold in partnership with local institutions and grassroots organizations, India’s path toward climate resilience gains momentum.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish May 6, 2024