More than a year after a United Nations deadline for revised promises, India, the world’s third biggest carbon polluter, has finally adopted new objectives for reducing global warming emissions.

The Indian federal cabinet accepted the country’s new national emissions commitments, known as Nationally Determined Contributions, on Wednesday (NDCs). Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated these targets at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow last year, but they had not yet been codified.

India’s new NDC commits the nation to decreasing its GDP’s carbon intensity by 45 percent from 2005 levels over the next seven years, a 10% increase over its previous 2016 goal.

By 2030, India plans to fulfill 50% of its energy needs from renewable sources such as solar and wind. This, too, is an increase over the government’s earlier objective of 40%, which it claimed to have met in December 2021.

Parties are obligated to update their long-term climate objectives every five years under the 2015 UN Paris Agreement, and are encouraged to demonstrate more ambition as the effects of climate change increase.

“The decision on enhanced NDCs demonstrates India’s commitment at the highest level for decoupling of economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions,” according to a government statement.

The revised NDC will now be presented to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

India, which ranks third only to China and the United States in terms of emissions, is the last of the world’s five top polluters to set new objectives.

The administration has also said that it would strive for net zero emissions by 2070, which is 20 years later than what climate experts believe is required. 

At the United Nations Climate Summit in 2021, India was chastised for attempting to soften wording on decreasing dependency on coal. 

Source: Reuters

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