“These are ambitious and realistic goals.”

“These are ambitious and realistic goals.”

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On the sidelines of the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Monday 1 November that India is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2070 and thus bolstered its promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. What do you think of these commitments? asked our reporter Sebastian Farsis Chandra Bhushan, Director General of the iForest Center for Environmental Research (International Forum on Environment, Sustainability and Technology), based in New Delhi.

India, the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, asserts that it will have a renewable electricity production capacity of 500 gigawatts by 2030, against a commitment of 450 gigawatts in 2015. The country will also reduce its carbon intensity (emissions per point of output) GDP) by 45% compared to 2005, compared to 33-35% announced in 2015. India also promises an absolute emission reduction of 1 billion tons of carbon by 2030.

RFI : How do you respond to these promises?

Chandra Bhushan First of all, it was a surprising announcement, because no one expected India to commit to carbon neutrality and even less to reduce its absolute emissions by one billion tons. And I’m glad the government did that. This is the first time that India has made such a commitment to an absolute personality. Over the next eight years, this represents a 2.5% reduction in emissions. It doesn’t sound like much, but the ad itself is important. This means that India went to COP26 with a very positive desire to deepen cooperation in this matter. In general, these are ambitious and realistic goals.

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The capacity to produce electricity from a renewable source of 500 gigawatts in 2030 is three times higher than today. Is it achievable ?

Yes, this is achievable and if it is achieved, half of the electricity generated and consumed in India will be from renewable sources. Such a wonderful character! No country in the world has achieved this yet. India already has a program to develop large batteries for energy storage, as well as to research the use of hydrogen. So if we work hard, we will achieve that goal.

This will also reduce carbon intensity, as today 72% of India’s electricity is produced from coal, including gas, nearly 80% from fossil fuels.

Read also: Indian Prime Minister launches global solar transmission network

Promise to achieve carbon neutrality in 2070 : The goal is not very far ?

The goal is for all countries together to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. China has given itself ten years more than developed countries, so India has given itself ten years more than China. But the totally illogical thing is that European and North American countries say they will only achieve carbon neutrality in 2050. If it takes that long for them, with all the wealth they have, how do you expect others to do so? To achieve this global goal in 2050, the United States and Europe will have to reach it in 2040, so that China can achieve it in 2050 and India immediately thereafter.

to listen: Coal-addicted India is making a tough energy transition

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Narendra Modi said in his speech that developed countries have not fulfilled their promises in terms of financing the energy transition to developing countries and transferring the technology needed to achieve it.

Yes really. There is an outcry in developing countries over the lack of respect for climate finance, and it will soon explode in the face of rich countries if they do not take the issue seriously. It is well and good that these developed countries are committed to reducing their emissions, but they are the ones who hold the global capital. Thus they control the ability of the rest of the world to do the same.

to listen: Big Report: India: False Promises of Reforestation

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