Admittedly, he didn’t seem that ambitious. But when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the stage in Glasgow on Monday, he delivered what may be the best news for global climate action in a very long time.
India will be climate neutral by 2070. In just under fifty years. It’s been twenty years since the entire world had to be climate neutral for the 1.5 degree goal to be within reach, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Ten years later the country that usually stands in the corner of the global climate chamber, China.
India is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, after China and the United States. Previously, emissions from the giant country of 1.4 billion people were expected to rise rapidly in the coming decades as the economy grew. India is also one of the countries investing the most in coal power – 70 percent of the country’s energy needs are currently covered by coal power.
But by 2030, the share of renewables in the country should be 50%. In addition, the country’s emissions will decrease by 1 billion tons by 2030. It has been explained — by climate scientist Nicholas Stern, among others — as if emissions would peak before then.
If this is true, will have a significant impact on how much the planet warms in the coming decades.
Add to that the other proposals that have come from Glasgow, like the New Alliance around that Reduce methane The greenhouse gases are so powerful but sometimes forgotten that, according to the latest report from the United Nations Climate Committee IPCC, they have already caused 30-50% of global warming to date. More than 40 powerful countries Alliance to phase out coal energy Where the British went out with Thursday night. The Global Alliance of slow down deforestation From last Monday.
If all these promises come true – without watering down along the way – some observers estimate that it may already be enough to limit global warming to two degrees. In a preliminary analysis, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that the promises, if made true, could limit the temperature rise to 1.8 degrees, Reuters reports.
IEA chief Fatih Birol wrote, “A big step forward, but more is needed.” on Twitter.
It must be said: So far it’s still just “blah blah blah,” in the words of Greta Thunberg. Big words don’t stop emissions. DN also spoke to researchers who were skeptical about the credibility of the Methane Alliance and the Forest Alliance.
many giants He is also out of alliances. Russia, which is the world’s largest exporter of methane, is Not in that alliance (An issue that also concerns us in Sweden, where the European Union buys very large amounts of Russian gas.) The United States, Australia, China and India are not part of the alliance alliance. And the forest alliance Compared Similar commitments from 2014 turned out to be hollow promises, as they were never translated into concrete action.
Empty promises are treacherous because they can create unjustified optimism. The question is whether that’s what IEA head Fatih Birol knows — and yes, I admit, including myself, albeit cautiously. Or if this could really be a turning point in global climate action.
If the latter is true, it is not too late. Little progress is really what the world’s climate action needs, not least in light of other news emerging so far during the Climate Summit which Severe weather is getting worse NS Emissions are increasing rapidly.
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