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India not among 118 nations that pledged to triple green energy

  • Published
    4th Dec, 2023

COP 28: The Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge

  • The ongoing COP28 climate summit in Dubai has witnessed a significant development with 118 nations signing the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge.
  • This commitment aims to triple the worldwide installed renewable energy generation capacity to at least 11,000 GW and double the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements to over 4% by 2030.
  • However, notable exclusions from the list of signatories are India and China, the latter being the world's leader in installed renewable energy capacity.

Background and Genesis of the Pledge

  • The idea of substantially increasing renewable energy capacity and energy efficiency was first proposed by European CommissionPresident Ursula von der Leyen in April 2023.
  • It gained more traction when it was articulated as a concrete proposal in the New Delhi G20 declaration in September 2023.

India's Notable Absence and Reasons Behind It

  • Despite being part of the G20 declaration, India chose not to sign the pledge.
  • The reasons behind this decision remain unclear, with some sources pointing to "problematic" language in the text.

India's Existing Commitments and Capacity

  • Nationally determined contributions (NDCs): India, as part of its nationally determined contributions (NDCs), has already committed to installing 500 GW of electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.
  • As of March 2023, India has close to 170 GW of installed capacity, raising questions about the necessity of tripling this capacity to align with the pledge.

Legal Sanctity and Inclusion in Main Negotiating Texts

  • Lacks legal sanctity: The pledge, as it stands, lacks legal sanctity and is yet to be included in the main negotiating texts.
    • There is ongoing global disagreement about whether large dams, considered as renewable sources by India, truly fall under this category.

Global Signatories and Noteworthy Exceptions

  • The United States and Brazil, with the second and third-largest installed renewable energy capacity, have signed the pledge.
  • However, China, the global leader in installed renewable energy capacity, is also conspicuously absent.

The G-20 Text and India's Association with the Commitment

  • G-20 Goals: The G-20 text in September 2023 did not explicitly mention energy efficiency goals but indicated that signatory countries would "pursue and encourage efforts to triple renewable capacity."

Disappointment and Hope for India's Future Role

  • Net-zero commitments: Some experts find India's non-participation disheartening, emphasizing the need for phasing down fossil fuels to meet net-zero commitments.
  • Despite this, there is hope that India, with its existing ambitious targets, will champion renewable energy and energy efficiency commitments at COP-28.

Way Forward:

  • The absence of India from the list of nations signing the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge raises questions about the country's approach to global commitments and the nuances of aligning national targets with international pledges.
  • As COP28 unfolds, the hope is that discussions will not only shed light on India's decision but also pave the way for collaborative efforts in combating climate change on a global scale.
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