To counter criticism of the global net zero targets, India’s net zero declaration for 2070 is ambitious and realistic, and the country’s approach to setting both long-term and short-term targets is a step in the right direction. correct direction.
The goals of reducing 1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions and reducing emissions intensity by 45% by 2030 are in line with the commitments and progress of the Paris Agreement.
But what India Climate Collaborative (ICC) – India’s first collective response of Indian philanthropies to accelerate climate action – is seeing in terms of the other two, 50% of energy demand from renewables and 500 GW of non-fossil electricity capacity, it is even a stronger ambition to move India towards a low carbon future. And those goals would have seemed almost unbelievable just a decade ago.
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“While there has been an international setback to making 2070 a goal too late, it is actually in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC), which has been a pillar of Indian negotiations.” , Shloka Nath, in office. India Climate Collaborative CEO told Business Today.
“If the middle of the century is set as the goal for which the world must decarbonize, then it is only fair that the developed nations, which have used most of the carbon space to propel their economies to the at a point where transitions have become more affordable, they need to commit to reducing emissions to zero one or two decades before that, to keep the space for developing nations to make the transition at a reasonable pace. “, added.
While the ICC appreciates that India recognizes the need for sustainable, low-carbon development, it believes that the most important part of these commitments is yet to come.
“It is the ambitions of non-state actors that we will see on the ground, the ambitions that our companies and civil society will strive to fulfill. In our position as an organization that works to mobilize funds for the climate ecosystem, it is crucial to realize that this is the time for Indian financiers to increase and fill the huge deficits we are seeing, ”Nath explains.
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“Therefore, both the commitments of Prime Minister Modi and the developments of COP26 are a clear appeal to national funders: climate change is already taking place, claiming lives and livelihoods on the ground, so it is time for us to let’s unite and act now, “he said.
However, India’s path to zero net will also face many challenges and the ICC believes that India can focus on three areas to get started: funding, collaboration and capacity.
Whether it is developments in technology or politics or capacity at ground level, funding (money) is the starting point for enabling action, which will be a major lever for enabling change.
But as funding alone cannot solve the problem, India must also have a solid ecosystem of actors working on the climate in the country.
“There are fantastic organizations that excel in research, advocacy, working with industry, politics and more, but we end up working in silos. And this ecosystem will have to come together, integrate with itself to really make the system work. to move towards a low carbon future, “adds Nath.
In addition, the country must also build capacity at ground level to respond to climate shocks. And that doesn’t mean prescribing solutions, it’s about working with communities and grassroots organizations to jointly create context-specific solutions.
With the vastness and variety of India’s geography, the ICC says climate impacts will occur very differently on a local scale. The aim is to identify the specific risks facing communities and provide them with the necessary resources to protect themselves from the dangers.
“These challenges have informed our way of structuring, the work we do, with an emphasis on creating collaboration, catalyzing nascent sectors and building capacity at the grassroots level, selecting opportunities for funders and channeling funding. in spaces with the greatest impact, “adds Nath.
Some of the key initiatives taken by ICC include supporting its partners, the Energy, Environment and Water Council (CEEW), to develop and launch the Climate Vulnerability Index, launching India Clean Air Connect, the first initiative to map diversity. efforts to address air quality across the country, to understand how to better align and support future work. ICC has also been working to develop the funding ecosystem in India, which is to organize roundtables and closed-door sessions with Indian philanthropists and select fundable opportunities for them.