Most experts hail India’s 2070 pledge, say it’s transformative, equitable, just | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: PM Modi’s surprise announcement at the COP26 on Monday, committing India to a net-zero economy by 2070 and 50% renewables in the energy mix by 2030, was generally hailed by international experts as one of the key breakthroughs of the Glasgow conference although some expressed disappointment over the 50-year promise.
Climate change expert Nicholas Stern called it a “very significant moment” for the summit. “This demonstrates real leadership… The rich world must respond to PM Modi’s challenge to deliver a strong increase in international climate finance,” he said, adding that it was a chance for India to show “it can deliver on both economic development and climate change”.
While not many countries reacted to the announcement, UK PM Boris Johnson, representing the summit’s host government, welcomed the move. “India has today announced ambitious plans for half its energy to come from renewables by 2030. This will cut carbon emissions by a billion tonnes, contributing to a worldwide decade of delivery on climate change,” he tweeted.
However, John Gummer, chair of the Climate Change Committee, a statutory body set up by the UK government, was quoted in the media as slamming India’s plans to reach net zero in 50 years’ time, saying it “really won’t do”.
On the other hand, most experts said the commitment was “equitable and just” in the context of India’s current stage of development. Said Ulka Kelkar, climate director of the India chapter of the World Resources Institute, “If it is net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, I would say it’s on par with western commitments. The fair comparison, is not with the US and Europe as of today, but with the US and Europe of 20-30 years ago.”
It wasn’t immediately clear in international circles whether the net-zero pledge by 2070 was for carbon emissions alone or for all greenhouse gases. “Country-wise net zero cannot be the same for all nations,” said Arunabha Ghosh, chief executive officer of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, who has advised the PMO. India’s target is “equitable and just,” he said.
The Time magazine said climate advocates recognised that the 2070 target was further off than was ideal but it was potentially transformative for the world’s third-largest emitter (India) while Bloomberg noted that the net-zero target will give companies and investors some idea of the country’s long-term climate ambition.

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