Even with mammoth climate aid payments from the West, India’s CO2 emissions will likely treble by 2030. Moreover, there is absolutely no commitment, or for that matter likelihood, that there will be any drop in those emissions after 2030.
BERLIN: India said on Thursday that it would increase the share of clean energy in its total energy mix by as much as 40%, by the target year of 2030.
While submitting its 38-page ‘climate action plan’ to a UN body in Bonn, Germany, India added that it would fight climate change by taking the energy efficiency route and by substantially reducing its ’emission intensity’, which is measured by the amount of carbon emissions per unit of GDP.
“India’s goal is to reduce overall emission intensity and improve energy efficiency of its economy over time and at the same time protecting the vulnerable sectors of economy and segments of our society.”
The ‘Climate Action Plan’ of individual countries is called the ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contribution’ (INDC), in climate-change negotiation parlance. India met the ‘informal’ deadline of October 1, for submission of its INDC.
What does this all mean, when we take away the smoke and the mirrors. The following points stand out:
* No actual CO2 target has been set.
* Although the talk is of “increase the share of clean energy in its total energy mix by as much as 40%”, when you get down to the small print, as we will shortly, the commitment is only to 40% of capacity, and not generation. As we know, renewables give very poor utilisation, so the amount generated will be much, much less than 40%.
* Also, this 40% is not of its total energy mix, as reported, but only of electricity mix.
* Commitment is given about reducing carbon intensity of GDP, but nearly half of this has already been achieved since 2005. As we have seen with China, maturing economies tend to grow away from energy intensive industries.
I have analysed below the actual plan, which is linked in the Times article under India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution.