The new Apex Committee for Implementation of Paris Agreement (AIPA), India is again strengthening its global leadership role in combating climate change.
The report said that India, along with many economies around the world, is being severely affected by the spread and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Recovering from the economic shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic, and avoiding severe future shocks triggered through the climate crisis, do not represent conflicting interests but instead a mutually-reinforcing coping strategy. India has tremendous potential for a ‘green recovery’ from the impacts of Covid-19:
The decarbonisation of India’s energy sector has a strong role to play in reviving the economy and the health system by boosting employment, fostering rural electrification as foundation of local value creation, and unburdening national health systems by reducing the prevalence of respiratory diseases.
The new AIPA committee, with members representing 14 ministries, is, therefore, perfectly suited to not only “generate a coordinated response on climate change matters,” but also to maximise and coordinate the multiple social and economic co-benefits that accompany ambitious climate action.
India can significantly boost employment by increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix.
Renewables tend to be more labour-intensive than conventional energy technologies; by 2050, more than 3.5 million people could be employed in the renewable energy sector—five times more than the entire Indian fossil-fuel sector (coal, gas, nuclear) employed in 2020.
These are the findings of a recent Policy Report for India by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam, Germany.
The report also finds that India can markedly improve the livelihoods of its citizens by reducing ambient air pollution. In a business-as-usual scenario, during 2020, almost 500,000 people will die prematurely due to exposure to particulate matter (PM10), increasing to 830,000 premature deaths during 2050.
By moving to a more ambitious decarbonisation pathway (NDC PLUS), more than 200,000 premature deaths can be avoided.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden recently renewed their cooperation against climate change, making it one of the highest priorities of their bilateral partnership. PM Modi agreed to participate in a climate change summit to be hosted by President Biden in April. A strong climate partnership would strengthen the relationship between both the governments and advance geostrategic interests.
Looking to a closer neighbour, China has committed to carbon neutrality by 2060. Such ambitious decarbonisation plans could also provide a blueprint for countries like India to announce net-zero plans soon.