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NITI AAYOG CEO ON NET ZERO EMISSION ENERGY TRANSITION

Context:

Niti Aayog CEO reiterated the government’s commitment to achieving ‘Net Zero Emission’ targets in energy by 2050, even though it calls for a concerted strategy and massive investments.

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Shell have released a report titled “India: Transforming to a Net-Zero Emissions Energy System”, recently.

Relevance:

GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Conservation of Environment and Ecology, Sources of Energy)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
  2. Highlights of TERI’s recommendations to achieve Net-Zero emmissions
  3. What is Net zero emissions?
  4. Adoption of Net zero emission targets

About The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)

  • The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is a non-profit research institution in New Delhi that conducts research work in the fields of energy, environment and sustainable development.
  • TERI aims to focus on formulating local and national level strategies for shaping global solutions to critical issues.
  • It conducts research work in the fields of energy, environment and sustainable development.
  • Its key focus lies in promoting clean energy, water management, pollution management, sustainable agriculture and climate resilience.
  • TERI was established in 1974 as Tata Energy Research Institute and was renamed The Energy and Resources Institute in 2003.

Highlights of TERI’s recommendations to achieve Net-Zero emmissions

  • India needs a suitable policy and innovation-driven context to deploy clean energy technologies on a massive scale.
  • The share of renewables in the power mix needs to increase to 90% for India to meet its net-zero goal. This is around 11% in 2019-2020.
  • India must phase out its coal-fired power plants and remove it altogether by 2050.
  • The availability, or absence, of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) would define the shape of India’s energy systems.
  • Will need energy efficient buildings, lighting, appliances and industrial practices to meet the net-zero goal.
  • In aviation, the only practical solution for reducing emissions is greater use of biofuels, until hydrogen technology gains scale.
  • India will have to rely on natural and man-made carbon sinks to soak up those emissions. Trees can capture almost 1 billion tons, the country will need carbon capture technologies to sequester the rest.
  • India, which already taxes coal and petroleum fuels, should consider putting a tax on emissions to drive change.

What is Net zero emissions?

  • ‘Net zero emissions’ refers to achieving an overall balance between greenhouse gas emissions produced and greenhouse gas emissions taken out of the atmosphere.
  • To achieve this:
  • Human-caused emissions (like those from fossil-fueled vehicles and factories) should be reduced as close to zero as possible.
  • Any remaining Greenhouse gasses GHGs should be balanced with an equivalent amount of carbon removal, for example by restoring forests.
  • In scenarios that limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, carbon dioxide (CO2) reaches net-zero on average by 2050. Total GHG emissions reach net-zero between 2063 and 2068.

Adoption of Net zero emission targets

  • As of June 2020, twenty countries and regions have adopted net-zero targets. This list only includes countries that adopted a net-zero target in law or another policy document.
  • The Kingdom of Bhutan is already carbon-negative, i.e., absorbs more CO2 than it emits.
  • India’s per capita CO2 emissions – at 1.8 tonnes per person in 2015 – are around a ninth of those in the USA and around a third of the global average of almost 5 tonnes per person.
  • India is also now the planet’s third-largest emitter of CO2, behind China and the USA.
  • Energy sector contributes the most to emissions followed by the Industrial sector and then Forestry followed by Transport, Agriculture and Building Construction sector.
Global timeline to reach net-zero emissions 
NET 
ZERO 
LIMITING GLOBAL 
coz 
WARMING TO 1.50C ENTAILS 
NET 
ZERO 
GHG 
2020 
2030 
LIMITING GLOBAL 
WARMING TO 2.00C ENTAILS 
2080 
NET 
ZERO 
C02 
2090 
NET 
ZERO 
GHG

-Source: The Hindu, Business Line

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