Why net zero is a net gain for India

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The economic benefits of accelerating India’s transition to climate neutrality by 2070 are immense: an increase of up to 4.7% in annual GDP by 2036 and the creation of some 15 million new jobs by 2047, according to a High-Level Policy Commission report on Getting Asia to Net Zero. The benefits are even greater if India achieves net zero carbon emissions by 2050, according to the report released on Friday.

The High-Level Policy Commission on Getting Asia to Net Zero was formed by the Asia Society Policy Institute, a New York-based think tank.

The report was released by members of the commission – Asia Society Global CEO and former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Vivek Pathak, Head of Climate Affairs at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). This is the Commission’s first report.

Rudd told ET that the goal is to be “helpful and support governments to get to net zero. And to do it not just with sincere moral wishes, but to do it with econometric modeling that demonstrates how it can be done consistently with continued economic growth.”

Earlier this month, Cabinet approved India’s updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to be submitted by the September 23 deadline by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). ).

The enhanced targets draw on the Prime Minister’s announcements at COP26 in Glasgow, but do not include all of them. “Most sane governments don’t promise and don’t deliver. I expect the same from the Indian government,” the former Australian prime minister said. The foreword to the report by the commissioners takes note of the updated NDC.

The report comes as the government works to develop and finalize India’s Long Term Strategy (LTS) to be submitted to the UNFCCC. Describing the NDC and the LTS as the “twin pillars of the credibility of the entire UNFCCC framework”, Rudd said that without these two fundamental documents “the credibility of the nation-state’s participation in the effort global fight against climate change is collapsing”.

India has expressed its development challenges and the need for support to accelerate its climate ambitions, even if it meets the basic development requirements of its people. Rudd and the report recognize that India cannot make the transition without impacting development needs in the absence of international financial and technological support.

At the same time, Rudd stressed that the transition is a challenge and an opportunity. “There are three big things looking at the global economy: energy security in terms of international fossil fuel supply, supply chain disruptions, and consumers increasingly demanding green supply chains. “, Rudd said. Given this and the fact that the world is demanding manufactured goods, India has an opportunity to ride a whole new wave of less carbon-intensive manufacturing.

“A choice between dealing with older factories and equipment in China, which are far less carbon-friendly, or newly installed renewable capacity in India, the current geopolitical scenario with the chosen economic decoupling of parts of the world from China , and the supply chain issue of resilience – put together, this potentially puts India in a new winning position in terms of transformation engineering,” Rudd said.

Optimistic about India, the former Australian Prime Minister said: “On the one hand we see a massive economic and energy transition, on the other we see a huge opportunity. So it depends on how you look at it. What impresses me is that Prime Minister Modi has chosen to look like the latter”.

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