New Delhi: As the impact of global warming dominates policymaking world over, the Economic Survey presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Tuesday had a dedicated chapter on climate change and environment.
The chapter ‘Climate Change and Environment: Preparing to Face the Future’ listed out India’s nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that include the transition to renewable energy resources, commitment to achieve “Net Zero” emissions by 2070 and steps taken to become energy independent.
The survey makes a case for developing countries to put development aspirations ahead of global climate change obligations, citing the actions of certain European nations to return to coal-fired power generation to meet energy needs in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“The behaviour of European nations in 2022, eminently understandable, demonstrates the return of energy security as a prime requirement for countries. Therefore, it stands to reason that it would be no different for developing economies too,” the survey noted.
It also cited a study by the Social Economics Lab at Harvard which found that citizens in developed countries expressed considerable reluctance to change their lifestyles and habits with respect to driving, flying and eating that would contribute to reduced emissions.
“Countries, even if they wait for financial, technological and human resources for emissions mitigation, have to take action to make their people resilient and adapt to climate change. So, actions on multiple fronts are needed, including the estimation of resources, lifestyle adjustments, etc,” the Economic Survey said.
The survey highlighted a mass movement ‘Lifestyle for Environment’ (LiFE) spelt out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Glasgow climate summit underlining the need to propagate a healthy and sustainable way of living based on traditions and values of conservation and moderation as a key to combating climate change.
The survey said that India achieved its target of 40 per cent installed electric capacity from non-fossil fuels ahead of 2030.
It added that the likely installed capacity from non-fossil fuels will be more than 500 GW by 2030, resulting in a decline of average emission rate by around 29 per cent by 2029-30, compared to 2014-15.
India will also reduce emissions intensity of its GDP by 45 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels, the survey noted further
The survey highlighted India’s plans to be energy independent by 2047, by relying on green hydrogen through the National Green Hydrogen Mission.
The mission includes developing green hydrogen production capacity to at least five million metric tonnes per annum by 2030, cumulative reduction in fossil fuel imports over Rs 1 lakh crore and creation of over six lakh jobs by 2030.