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India’s climate pledge to the UNFCCC – a summary

India’s climate pledge to the UNFCCC – a summary

   – Pravin Jadhav, AVP, RSM GC

India has submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 2 October 2015[1]. These INDCs from all the member countries will form basis of the climate change agreement to be negotiated in the COP 21 meeting at Paris in Nov-Dec 2015[2].

India’s INDC is generally well accepted by environment groups and analysts and can be summarised as follows:

Source: Business Standard news[3]

  1. Reduction of carbon emissions intensity by 30-35% below 2005 levels by 2030 Effect: India will avoid 3.59 bn tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions over business as usual2. To get around 40 % of the installed power capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy sources by 2030. Currently, it is around 30% Effect: 175 GW of renewable power capacity by 2022 and 300 – 350 GW by 2030. A 33% jump in non-fossil fuel sources in 15 years.

3. Creation of total carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030 Effect:  Addition of 680-817 million tonnes of carbon sink

4. Mobilisation of additional funds, both domestic and from developed countries, to implement adaptation and mitigation goals Effect:  $2.5 trillion required for INDC implementation at 2014-2015 prices

India emissions way forward

Analysis and photo credit – Economic Times[4]

The planned emission intensity reduction is targeted by massive renewable energy capacity addition, equivalent to 40% of total power generation installed capacity (credit – Economic Times[5]).

India renewable power plan

In an interesting analysis, the Carbon Brief has reported 90% GHG emission increase even with this emission intensity reduction[6]. This is due to the fact that, Indian economy will continue to grow and increasing industrialisation and power demand for providing even basic electricity lacked in many parts will add substantial GHG emissions

India INDC emissions scenario - carbon brief

India development challenge

The same report also summarise major economies’ emission pledges.

INDCs compared

A useful summary of nearly all INDC’s targets and commitments can be found at Climate Change News[7].

Developments related to international carbon markets

An analysis by Carbon Pulse[8], ‘Poorer nations face let-down as INDCs lack carbon market buyers’ indicates that even though 146 countries covering 87% of global emissions had submitted INDCs by 1 October 2015 and “at least 70 countries that are seeking to use, or considering using, market-based mechanisms”, there is uncertainty on whether all desired sellers from developing countries will find buyers for the carbon credits generated. This concern is further aggravated by carbon markets references being largely left out from the 20 page negotiators text for the Paris climate agreement[9]. However, the analysts also have a positive view on the carbon markets being part of the Paris agreement due the fact that there is an estimated 2 billion ton CO2 market demand globally during 2021-2030[10]. Thus, carbon markets can always rely on established market mechanisms like CDM to meet the developed countries’ demand for the cost effective emission reduction pledge.











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