23rd December – Renewable energy is the way forward

In a span of just seven days recently, two varying bits of information emerged on the climate change front for India.

  1. The first is that India lost 2,018 lives in 2018 due to the fallout of this crisis; and
  2. The second is that the country entered the league of top ten nations in Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), bettering its rank from eleventh last year to ninth this year.

About CCPI –

The CCPI figures are released annually after an analysis of four parameters –

  1. Greenhouse gas emissions,
  2. Renewable energy,
  3. Energy use and
  4. Climate policy.

The assessment is done on the basis of compatibility with the 2015 Paris Agreement. The top three performers were Denmark, Sweden and Morocco.

The climate threat –

  • According to experts, the world is already 1.1 degree Celsius warmer than it was at the onset of the industrial revolution. If current trends remain, global temperatures could rise by 3.2-3.9 degree Celsius.
  • The UN Environment Programme has pointed out, through its 2019 Emissions Gap report, that reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of 7.6 per cent year from 2020 to 2030 are needed to meet the internationally agreed goal of keeping the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius over the pre-industrial feels.

Threat to India –

  • The Global Climate Risk Index has ranked India as the fifth most vulnerable country in the world in terms of experiencing extreme weather conditions.
  • According to the report, India also witnessed the second-highest economic losses of over $37,000 million. In terms of absolute losses, the country suffered in the range of over two lakh crore rupees due to climate change.
  • Temperatures in the Himalayan region are likely to rise up to 2.6 degrees Celsius and increase in intensity by two per cent to 12 per cent by 2030s.
  • According to estimates, the per capita availability of freshwater in the country is expected to drop below 1000 cubic meters by 2025 — because of population growth, but also due to climate change.

Greenhouse gas emissions by India –

  • Most of India’s greenhouse gas emissions comes from energy production — between 64 per cent and 68 per cent.
  • Coal (one of the prominent culprits in contributing to climate change) is the biggest driver of power supply in the country. But the government projects that by 2040, nearly 40 per cent of its electricity would be supplied from non-coal sources.
  • Electricity demand is expected to grow three times by 2030, and nearly 60 per cent of power generation is sourced through coal, which is responsible for 40 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.
  • In one of its report of 2017, NITI Aayog stated that the share of coal in the energy mix will be at least 44 per cent.

Way forward –

  • India plans to enhance its installed renewable energy capacity to 175GW by March 2022; 100GW of that is to be generated by solar power. Besides, the country hopes to almost double the share of renewable power in its total installed capacity to 40 per cent by 2030.
  • A great deal depends on the country’s management of its ambitious plans to utilise renewable energy. According to government figures, the calculate solar energy incidence on India’s land is roughly 5,000 trillion kilowatt hours.
  • The solar energy available in a single year is more than the possible energy output of all of the fossil fuel energy reserves in the country.

SourceVIF India

QUESTIONCoP 26 will be instrumental in global fight against climate change because the parties have to submit new climate actions plans for the future and also explain their achievements in containing climate change negatives. Explain India’s preparedness in this regard and how climate change affects India.

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