COP26: PM Modi pledges net zero emissions by 2070
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday addressed the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, United Kingdom. The Indian PM has made five big promises to deal with the challenge of climate change including setting a target of net zero emissions by 2070. PM Modi had arrived in Glasgow on Sunday night after attending the G20 Summit in Italy. Here are more details.
What are India's promises?
India will take its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030. India will meet 50% of its energy requirements from renewable energy. The country will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now until 2030. By 2030, India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy to less than 45%. Net zero emissions by 2070.
Why does it matter?
The Prime Minister's statement comes as India's biggest commitment toward combating the looming climate crisis. However, the country is the last of the world's major carbon polluters to announce a net zero emission target. The United States and the European Union have set a 2050 deadline as advised by scientists to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
PM Modi denounces 'mindless consumption'
PM Modi also called for a global push to shift toward sustainable lifestyles. "Instead of mindless and destructive consumption, we need mindful and deliberate utilization," he said at the summit. "These choices, made by billions of people, can take the fight against climate change one step further," he said citing consumer choices in various areas, including diet.
Climate change: Scary facts
Scientists have warned of irreparable damage due to climate change in the coming years. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says global temperatures are likely to rise by 1.5 degree Celsius within the next two decades. In fact, scientists say the last seven years have been the warmest on record. Further, over a million species may vanish due to climate change.
Activists demand more
UN Secretary General António Guterres said by ignoring climate issues, "we are digging our own graves." Separately, activists and protesters flooded the streets of Glasgow saying that world leaders need to do more. "Change is not going to come from inside there. That is not leadership. This is leadership. This is what leadership looks like," said Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.