From global warming, frequent floods and fires and numerous other problems, the planet is going through an existential crisis, citing an urgent need for scientific and innovative steps to secure humanity’s future. In this context, science shows clearly that in order to cope with the worst impacts of climate change and preserve the ailing planet, global temperature increase needs to be limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Currently, the Earth is already about 1.1°C warmer than it was in the late 1800s, and emissions continue to rise. To keep global warming to no more than 1.5°C – as called for in the Paris Agreement – emissions need to be reduced by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.
Net zero is simply cutting down greenhouse gas emission to almost zero. Transitioning to net zero is a big challenge to mankind today. It calls for nothing less than a complete change in how we produce and consume.
Global efforts to meet Net Zero.
Growing coalition of countries, cities, businesses and other institutions are pledging to get to net-zero emissions. More than 70 countries, including the biggest polluters – China, the United States, and the European Union – have set a net-zero target, covering about 76% of global emissions. More than 3,000 businesses and financial institutions are working with the Science-Based Targets Initiative to reduce their emissions in line with climate science. And more than 1000 cities, over 1000 educational institutions, and over 400 financial institutions have joined the Race to Zero, pledging to take rigorous, immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030..
India’s Stand in Net – Zero Coalition
India at UNFCCC CoP-26 announced its enhanced climate commitments — the “Panchamrit”, including a commitment to reach net zero by 2070 . India’s announcement of its net-zero goal is a major step considering the fact that India is not a major contributor of global warming.. Its historical cumulative emissions are a mere 4.37% of the world’s total which is much less than that of the US and other developed countries. Now, to achieve its targets of 2070, India particularly needs to focus on a smoother renewable energy transition, greater adoption of electric vehicles and greater participation from the public as well as the private sector.
Round the clock supply of sources like wind and sunlight is not possible everywhere, therefore, it is necessary to diversify the energy mix of solar, wind and hydrogen based energy. A lot of work has to be done in areas like investment in infrastructure, capacity building in the near future. Since industries also contribute to GHG emissions, any climate action will need to reduce or offset emissions that emerge from industrial and commercial activity. Another way forward is Electric Vehicles which will ensure the energy security and To mitigate the charging issues of EVs, charging infrastructures that draw power from local electricity supply can be set up at private residences, public utilities such as petrol and CNG pumps. There is a need to act decisively to reach global net-zero, restricting future cumulative emissions to the remaining carbon budget, if the rise in temperature is to remain within the limits of the Paris Agreement.
- By Anurag