In eighth place, India tops list for climate protection: report

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Representative image only. | Photo credit: The Hindu

India moved up two places to rank eighth out of 63 in the 2023 Climate Change Performance Index (CCCP), thanks to its low emissions and growing use of renewable energy.

The report was released on November 14 by three environmental non-governmental organizations that track the climate performance of the European Union and 59 countries, which together account for more than 92% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. .

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The rankings by Germanwatch, NewClimate Institute and Climate Action Network are based on countries’ ability to halve their emissions by 2030 – a key aspect of keeping the 1.5 degree Celsius target within reach and preventing a dangerous climate change.

The report leaves the top three spots empty because “no country performed well across all index categories to earn a very high overall score.” It places Denmark in fourth place, followed by Sweden and Chile.

India scored high in the GHG Emissions and Energy Consumption categories, while it obtained an average score in the Climate Policy and Renewable Energy sections.

China, now the world’s biggest polluter, fell 13 places to 51st in this year’s CICC and received a very low overall score due to plans for new coal-fired power plants.

The United States moved up three spots to 52nd place. Iran (63rd), Saudi Arabia (62nd) and Kazakhstan (61st) are the worst off.

The report says India is “on track” to meet its 2030 emissions targets, consistent with a scenario well below 2 degrees Celsius. “However, the renewable energy path is not on track for the 2030 target,” he said.

Since the last CICC, India has updated its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and announced a goal of net zero for 2070. Net zero means achieving a balance between the greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere and those taken out of it.

NDCs are national plans to limit global temperature increase to well below two degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

In August, India released its updated NDCs and now pledges to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030 from 2005 levels.

It aims to achieve around 50% of cumulative installed electricity capacity from non-fossil energy resources by 2030. These NDCs, however, depend on the provision of finance and technology transfer.

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Experts hailed the new targets and policy signals towards climate action in India. They highlighted the importance of a fair and inclusive energy transition, as well as the need for decentralized renewable energies and capacities for rooftop photovoltaics.

A carbon pricing mechanism, the need for more capacity at the sub-national level and concrete action plans to achieve the targets are key demands.

The report notes that India is among the nine countries responsible for 90% of the world’s coal production and also plans to increase its oil, gas and petroleum production by more than 5% by 2030 “This is incompatible with the temperature of 1.5 degrees Celsius. target,” CICC experts said.

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