India needs to increase its capacity of non-fossil fuel energy, decrease carbon intensity, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2070 to help address COP 26 announcements

New Delhi : India needs to take multitude of approaches to address COP 26 announcements by Hon’ble PM.  They include increasing capacity of non-fossil fuel energy, decreasing carbon intensity, meeting half the energy requirement through renewable energy by 2030, reducing carbon emissions, and achieving net zero emissions by 2070.  Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Sr. Adviser Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India highlighted these facts at the inaugural session of the online Training Programme on ‘Climate Change: Challenges and Response (for Scientists & Technologists)’.

The 5-day online training program at the Centre for Disaster Management (CDM), Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie is being attended by scientists, technologists, and resource persons interested in climate change and its allied areas from central and state government organizations all over India. The program being supported by DST is being conducted from 20- 24 December 2021.

“Bringing economy’s carbon intensity down to 45 percent by 2030 is achievable with some major initiatives on Electric vehicle and green Hydrogen energy. Fulfilling 50 percent of India’s energy requirement through renewable energy by 2030 is also achievable as India already achieved 40% share of renewable energy. Reducing 1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions by 2030 is challenging as India will have to cut down its carbon emissions by nearly 22%. The biggest challenge for the country is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2070, which would entail scaling up of renewable energy production by several-fold. Besides, usage of coal would need to be dropped substantially, and consumption of crude oil across sectors would need to peak by 2050 and fall substantially between 2050 and 2070,” Dr. Gupta informed.
Dr. Gupta mentioned that urbanization is the new global change underway and stressed that surface temperatures in urban clusters may go up by 3-4 degrees Celsius higher than the global change. “The precipitation intensity and frequency could be entirely different from normal rainfall patterns in the urban clusters,” he added. He mentioned that a recent study shows that the rainfall intensity in metropolitan cities are closely linked to population density. He stressed that combined effect of increase in greenhouse gas concentrations at the global scale and land use and land cover changes at the local level are the key anthropogenic factors impacting climate change in cities.

“Glaciology, Climate Modelling, Urban Climate, Extreme events, and Himalayan ecosystem studies are the priority areas identified for the next 5 years under the Climate Change programme of DST,” he pointed out.

Dr. Gupta informed that according to the Climate Change vulnerability ranking of states carried out by DST, the 8 most vulnerable states are Jharkhand, Mizoram, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal – all in the eastern region, and there is a direct relationship between poverty and low HDI with the vulnerability of a place.

He also stressed on the need of Climate Change risk assessment at district level over and above the vulnerability assessment for identifying climate-induced risk index. “This risk assessment would be helpful in development of adaptation strategies and help in disaster management as well,” he added.

Dr. Pankaj Kumar Singh, Associate Professor, CDM, LBSNAA, was also present during the inaugural program, which was attended by scientists, technologists, and experts on different aspects of climate change.