Climate Change

COP27: India’s updated NDCs insufficient for cutting emissions, shows report

Indian government plans to add more coal capacity and increase fossil gas in the energy mix, study says

By Rohini Krishnamurthy
Published: Thursday 10 November 2022

India’s updated Nationally Determined Commitments (NDC) are strong on paper but not to drive down more emissions compared to the previous commitment, according to a report released at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

India has not put out details of the 2070 Net Zero target announced at COP26 last year, the report by Climate Action Tracker (CAT) mentioned.

“India will meet their NDC and overachieve it. Still, the targets need to get more ambitious to reach the 1.5°C target,” Claire Stockwell, Senior Climate Policy Analyst at Climate Analytics, told Down To Earth (DTE).

The Paris Agreement seeks to limit global warming to below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industry levels.

However, she added that considering the fairness perspective, India does not need to do this independently. The country has to be supported by international finance. 

“What we are looking forward to from the Indian government is that they put forward their ambitious target and get more international finance to support that,” she explained.

At COP 26 in Glasgow, India announced five new targets, some of which were submitted in the updated NDC in 2022.

These include strengthening its 2030 emissions intensity of its GDP by 45 per cent by 2030 from its 2005 levels and targeting about 50 per cent of cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030. 

“We need to see a further strengthening of these targets to drive further emission reductions,” Stockwell said.

India has shown progress in its renewable energy installation, it said. But the government plans to add more coal capacity and increase fossil gas in the energy mix, the report added.

India and 27 other countries updated their NDCs this year, of which CAT analysed 10.

Five countries had stronger NDC targets, while the rest, including India, did not increase ambition, the report found.

The largest emitters, the United States, European Union and China, have not submitted updated targets, Mia Moisio from the NewClimate Institute said at a press briefing.

Australia, Thailand, the UAE and Norway have shown ambition in the updated commitments, but they are still not aligned with the Paris Agreement goal.

The world is headed for a 2.4°C of warming under the current 2030 targets, the experts warned. 

“It is the same as last year. There has been no change since Glasgow,” Stockwell said.

Some nations have, however, announced binding targets. That could take us to 2°C warming.

“This has been a year of little action on the climate: Almost no updated national climate targets for 2030 and no significant increase in participation in Glasgow initiatives on coal phase-out, clean cars and methane,” Niklas Höhne of CAT partner organisation NewClimate Institute, said in a statement.

The CAT report also highlighted that climate finance from developed countries is nowhere close to what developing countries need to reduce emissions.

Funds from the United States, Russia and Australia have been rated critically insufficient, while that from European Union, Germany, Norway and Switzerland were rated as insufficient, the report said.

Only Canada, New Zealand, Japan and the United Kingdom provided sufficient funding.

In 2009, developed countries pledged to mobilise $100 billion in climate finance to support climate action in developing countries. This goal has not been met.

“There is a lack of leadership in climate finance,” Moisio said. They have come here [CoP27] without delivering on the $100 billion target, he added.

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