Climate vow honoured

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on climate change on October 2, is welcome. The statement’s timing and date of implementation are both important. India will ratify the deal on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, whose austere life reflected the need for minimum carbon footprint on earth. Earlier, the Government had used the Mahatma’s stature to promote its Swachch Bharat movement. The Prime Minister’s dateline comes at a time when India has launched a blistering campaign to isolate Pakistan globally on the issue of terrorism. The October 2 dateline has been welcomed by the world community, including the United Nations, and has enhanced India’s credibility globally. It has thus created the right environment for New Delhi to sustain its push against Islamabad. Besides, the climate deal can help pave the way for India to enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group, on which it is already pitching hard to convince China. However the commitment to move to a significant level of emission-cut by the year-end demands building capacities, creating domestic frameworks and bringing the international architecture to ensure a carbon-free environment. India’s journey to the green zone is also influenced by the decision of the two biggest global polluters – America and China – who formally joined the Conference of Parties (COP-21) this September. India’s move will boost the country’s partnership with the US – a relationship that has gained enormously through the joint efforts of Modi and US President Barack Obama.
Being a signatory to the Conference of Parties-21 (COP-21), India will have to adhere to strict international guidelines. Its carbon emission contributes a record high of about six per cent of the global emissions. Once the deal is ratified by India, the energy industry output can change as many firms have to come under the scanner of the cutting-edge climate technology to reduce carbon levels. India has to cut down greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent to 35 per cent towards end-2030. This is a huge challenge. If the Government has to achieve the target, it must bring in stringent rules to monitor polluting industries. India declared its ‘intended nationally determined contribution’, also known as the ‘action plan to fight the challenges of climate change’, last year on October 2. Therefore, ratification of the deal the same day this year underlines the country’s fulfillment of its commitment. India requires nearly 175 gigawatt of renewable energy by 2025 so as to cut down the rising emission, currently prevalent.
The generation of solar energy will be one of the most important steps in this direction. The International Solar Alliance propelled by India and France to bring in nearly one trillion dollars worth of investment to developing countries situated between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, can help the country move closer in creating alternative sources of energy. As India receives a good amount of sunlight for the larger part of the year, it can
contribute to solar power production at global levels.
This will help reduce energy inequality as well. When COP-22 comes up on November 7 in Marrakesh in Morocco, India will be a proud part of a new global climate change regime.

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