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Year Ender 2021: PM Modi's big announcement to fight global warming and climate change at Glasgow summit

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised many with his bold pledge at the Glasgow climate change summit that India, the world's third-biggest emitter, will reach net zero by 2070! His statement at around 10 minutes was much longer than allocated to world leaders and he expressed his apology to the chair for overshooting the time limit while highlighting that it reflects India's firm commitment in the area.

Putting Climate Change at Centre of Policies
Modi said that India is putting climate change at centre of its policies and stressed on the need to include climate adaptation policies in school syllabus to make the next generation aware of the issues. "Today the entire world acknowledges that India is the only big economy in the world that has delivered both 'in letter and spirit' on its Paris commitments. We are making all possible efforts in a resolute manner. We are working hard and we will show results," Prime Minister said in a much-anticipated address.

Year Ender 2021: PM Modis big announcement to fight global warming and climate change at Glasgow summit

Presenting the country's national statement at the Summit, Modi listed out five commitments of India to combat climate change with a bold announcement that it will achieve the target of net zero emissions by the year 2070.

India's 5 Commitments to World
"India will increase its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 giga watt by 2030; India will fulfil 50 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable energy sources by 2030. Between now and 2030, India will reduce its total projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes and by 2030; India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by 45 per cent and India will achieve the target of net zero by 2070," the Prime Minister said.

Modi also called for lifestyle changes which can go a long way in tackling climate change and urged to make 'Lifestyle for Environment' a global mission. He added, "Lifestyle plays a very important role in climate change. I would like to suggest a one-word movement in the context of climate which can become a key basis for one world. This word is LIFE. Lifestyle for Environment."

Developed Countries Should Fulfil Promise
Prime Minister Modi reiterated that developed nations must fulfil the promised USD 1 trillion as climate finance, saying this should be tracked the same way as climate mitigation. "India expects developed countries to make USD 1 trillion available as climate finance as soon as possible. As we track the progress of climate mitigation, we must also track climate finance. Justice would truly be served if pressure is put on those countries that have not lived up to their climate finance commitments," Modi said.

PM shared how India is the only country to fulfil commitments made in Paris. He also spoke how Paris was not only a summit, but a sentiment and a commitment of 130 crore Indians. He shared how a new India is fighting climate change. From the worlds largest railway carrier becoming Net Zero by 2030 to saving 40 billion tonnes of emission through LEDs, India is putting climate change at the centre of its policies, he claimed.

Experts Hailed India's Announcement
Hailing PM Modi's statement at the 26th international climate conference in Glasgow, experts said India is rightly demanding $1 trillion from the developed nations.

"Now, India demands USD 1 trillion of climate finance as soon as possible and will monitor not just climate action, but deliver climate finance. Most importantly, India has called, once again, for a change in lifestyles. If we cannot fix how we live, we cannot fix the planet on which we live," said Arunabha Ghosh, CEO and Founder of Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW).

Vaibhav Chaturvedi, Fellow, CEEW, said that the prime minister accorded a red carpet to foreign and domestic investors by announcing the net-zero year. He said, "India's efforts though will have to be supported by the availability of climate finance from developed countries. Without foreign capital, on concessional terms, this transition will prove to be difficult.

"According to CEEW's 'Implications of a Net-zero Target for India's Sectoral Energy Transitions and Climate Policy' study, India's total installed solar power capacity would need to increase to over 5,600 gigawatts to achieve net-zero by 2070," he said.

Aarti Khosla, Director, Climate Trends, said, "By announcing a commitment for achieving net zero targets by 2070, India has responded positively to the global call and it was the best climate action in Glasgow today.

"The commitment of 500GW of renewable energy by 2030, which is more than twice the installed capacity of coal currently, should set the stage for a quick transformation of the energy sector, the kind of which hasn't been witnessed so far.

"Ensuring that the new energy regime doesn't bring the pitfalls of the current regime will be fundamental. Solar and wind are poised to emerge as the future in the net zero world," she said. PTI

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