Climate change is not a distant threat looming on the horizon! The more destructive storms, deluges, and droughts the world experiences, the more we have this sobering thought: the earth is running out of time to heal and protect itself. If India must do something significant, such as achieving net-zero emissions target by 2070, it has to ramp up efforts in adaptation and mitigation, starting from immediate crisis response to long-term planning.
India is aiming to achieve the net-zero target by 2070, which was recently emphasized during the COP27 conference held in Egypt. Indian Environment Minister Bhupendra Singh delivered the official statement at the COP27 summit, and highlighted that PM Modi announced India’s aim of achieving net zero emissions by 2070 at Glasgow, and that India is escalating its efforts towards achieving the same. “Within one year, India has submitted its Long-Term Low Emissions Growth Strategy indicating low carbon transition pathways in key economic sectors”, he added.
The ongoing climate crisis, affecting every region of the world, is increasing at the fastest rate humanity has ever witnessed before. Rising global temperatures, melting of polar ice caps, rising sea levels, and frequent climate-associated disasters such as floods, wildfires, and droughts have deterred the global economy. The IPCC AR6 report released in April 2022 highlighted the significance of climate technology that has the scope to minimize the risk of recurring impacts of climate change. In the current technological era, there is an urgent requirement for innovative technical strategies to boost climate change adaptation and mitigation. The report emphasized that by leveraging technical interventions, we can mitigate climate change.
India has its eyes on the target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2070. While it is mindful of the need for developing new technologies such as carbon capture, hydrogen use, etc. it is equally focused on increasing the share of renewable energy in its energy mix (various energy sources used to generate electricity). It aims at increasing renewable energy capacity from 157GW (as of March 2022) to 500GW by 2030, out of which 450 GW from solar and wind.
The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is imprinting detrimental effects on the lives of millions and also creating a spur in the global economy. The territorial invasion by Russia managed to receive global economic sanctions, and since Russia is one of the largest exporters of fuel, these sanctions are also affecting the other nations as the global crude oil prices witnessed a sudden surge in recent months.
Climate Finance is an umbrella term that encompasses different kinds of financial instruments used to support activities that help develop sustainable infrastructure. It includes establishment of renewable energy plants and storage systems, efforts of adapting to changing climate conditions, developing resilience to disasters that result from changing climate and extreme weather conditions. Another aspect of climate finance is issuing loans in exchange of a guarantee from a corporation or government that they will work in line with the sustainable development goals set by either the United Nations, or is a set of mutually agreed upon terms between the lender and the borrower based on climate goals.
As the mercury keeps soaring, India is experiencing its hottest summers in 122 years. By mid-May, maximum temperatures in North India have crossed 45 degrees celsius consistently. Extreme weather cannot be attributed to a single cause. Heatwaves are a result of the compounding effect of global warming, pollution, and existing weather patterns. Researchers have pointed to another issue that is aggravating the already existing problems of heatwaves - Western Architecture.
The recent report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report revealed some of the most worrying assessments of how the increasing global temperature is affecting our whole ecosystem. In the AR6, the scientists focused on the mitigation aspect as they have already highlighted the causes and impacts of climate change in their first and second publications.
Climate change, which is a global phenomenon in contemporary times, has been impacting proportionally every element as per its vulnerability on the planet. Though climate change has affected every human being and different species on the planet, its impact varies disproportionately among men and women. And women and girls being one of the most vulnerable sections of society get hit the most.
Transitioning a fast growing economy like India from fossil fuels to renewables is not simple. Especially in the times of global political and economic upheaval– partly caused by the pandemic that is slowly waning, and partly because of the Russia - Ukraine conflict– which is choking the fuel supply chain resulting from political tensions and economic restrictions.