On November 1, 2021, at the UN Climate Summit COP 26 in Glasgow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that India would achieve the net zero emission target by 2070, a rather ambitious deadline, which according to experts would require no additional greenhouse gases emission into the atmosphere.
With a year having passed since that announcement and 2023 about to commence, the challenge is a stiff one as India is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the US and it would require some real action on the ground to achieve this target, environment watchers have said.
There are a lot of short term as well as solid sectoral targets which need to be set to achieve this goal, they added.
Also, if comparisons with the US and China can be made, then it should be seen that both the countries aim to achieve the carbon neutrality targets much earlier than India.
China has said that it plans to achieve it by 2060 and the US along with the European Union (EU) aims to do so by 2050. To achieve this target, India will have to move away from its heavy dependency on coal and a proper roadmap is required to first achieve this goal, before moving towards achieving the larger target.
In addition to this, India will have to look at gathering funds to achieve the objective as well as having the desired technologies to meet the target in the long run, experts say.
According to a study, an investment of $10 trillion, starting from this year itself would be needed to achieve the net zero target. And if the deadline is advanced to 2050, then the amount may go up to $13.5 trillion.
Also energy transition, as mentioned above, to renewable energy also remains a challenge.
The economic benefits of India stepping up its transition to climate neutrality by 2070 are immense -- boost of up to 4.7 per cent to the annual GDP by 2036 and creating some 15 million new jobs by 2047, according to a report by the High-Level Policy Commission on Getting Asia to Net Zero. The benefits are even greater if India reaches net zero carbon emissions by 2050, said the report released on Friday.
A report titled "Getting India to Net Zero" released in August this year by the High-Level Policy Commission On Getting Asia to Net Zero, said that achieving the zero emission target by 2070 could boost the country's economy by around 4.7 per cent above the projected baseline growth in GDP terms by 2036, which would be worth $371 billion and create around 15 million new jobs by 2047.
The report also noted that policies to initiate the clean energy transition will be crucial in determining when India achieves net zero emissions and how much it could benefit from it. Positive economic impacts are driven in part by an improved trade balance of $236 billion due to reduced demand for fossil fuels.
It added that by achieving the net zero target by 2050, India could boost the annual GDP by around 7 per cent ($470 billion) and around 20 million jobs could be created by 2032.