India 'confident' it can cut emissions by 2030

  • 03/10/2015

India, the world's third-biggest carbon-emitting country, says it is "confident" it can cut its emissions intensity by 35 percent by 2030, in the run-up to a key conference in Paris later this year.

The environment minister announced India's climate pledges on Friday after the government submitted to the UN a new plan for tackling climate change, before the COP21 meeting in November that will seek to forge a global agreement on curbing Earth-warming emissions.

"We are confident we will achieve the 35 percent (target) by 2030," Prakash Javadekar said, adding: "It is a huge jump for India, therefore it is a very ambitious target.

"The developed world has polluted the Earth and we are suffering. Still, we want to become part of the solution and give results."

India made the pledge to cut emissions intensity - the amount of pollution per dollar of gross domestic product - as part of its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs, in a document published on a UN website early on Friday.

It also committed to generating 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2030 "with the help of transfer of technology and low cost international finance".

The new goals would take India's capacity for renewable energy by 2030 to more than double the 175,000 megawatts now targeted.

The government estimated at least US$2.5 trillion (NZ$3.94 trillion) would be required to achieve India's climate change goals, which include increasing forest cover, between now and 2030.

The environment minister's announcement came as Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a solar-powered district court building in the insurgency-wracked and impoverished central state of Jharkhand.

"Despite huge developmental challenges, India has put forward a climate action plan that is far superior to ones proposed by the US and EU," said Sandeep Chachra, ActionAid India's executive director.

The Climate Group, an environmental NGO, also welcomed the plan.

"The fact that India is a developing economy should not be seen as a constraint but as an opportunity to demonstrate to others how ambitious growth can be achieved through a clean industrial revolution and building a strong low-carbon economy," Krishnan Pallassana, the group's India director, said.

India has resisted pledging targets as big as those of rival China, which vowed in June to reduce its carbon intensity by 60 to 65 percent over 15 years, and also bring its absolute emissions to a peak by "around 2030".