Action, not words needed to combat climate change: Environment Minister

Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav on Tuesday said that to deal with climate change, the need of the hour is “deeds” and not “plain words” and that reaching “net zero” alone is not enough.

Rich nations have been pressurising India over the years to go for net zero, a state where a country’s total emissions are balanced and compensated by either removal of or absorption of green-house gases from the atmosphere, by 2050.

Emphasising that the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report published recently is a clarion call for the developed countries to undertake immediate deep emission cuts and decarbonise their economies, Yadav highlighted the key issues of climate justice and sustainable lifestyle prioritised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In his address at ‘LEADS’, the Leadership, Excellence, Adaptability, Diversity and Sustainability event, organised by FICCI under the theme “Future of Partnerships”, Yadav listed the initiatives taken by India in the last few years, both nationally and globally, for promoting renewable energy noting that the country’s renewable power capacity is currently the 4th largest in the world, a ministry release said.

On India’s ambitious targets and futuristic initiatives and emphasising on the important and vital role of clean energy derived especially from renewable sources, he said: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has further announced the aspirational target of increasing our renewable energy capacity to 450 GW and India has also announced Hydrogen Energy Mission 2021-22 for generation of hydrogen from green power sources.”

Noting that the energy transition in different parts of the world will be different, he said that India has much to offer and share in terms of its experience with other countries embarking on a similar journey to address energy access issues, while also addressing the growing energy demand with renewable energy.

Listing green partnerships between India and European nations, Yadav said that India and Europe remain key economic partners who are all set to scale up their cooperation in years to come. He also expressed confidence that India and Europe will further take forward their partnership in a lot many emerging sustainable technologies, such as battery storages, green hydrogen, offshore wind energy installation challenges or commissioning, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, waste to energy/bio energy, wind energy hydrogen and fuel cells, energy storage, tidal energy, geothermal energy, etc.

He also said that developed countries should also provide lead markets for products of green technologies and drive down costs, such that these can be deployed in developing economies at scale.

On the role of the private sector in creating low-carbon sustainable economies, Yadav said that the private sector companies should be encouraged to develop voluntary roadmaps for the transition towards low carbon pathways and urged Indian companies especially in the hard to abate sectors like steel, cement, shipping, etc. to join “Leadership Group for Industry Transition”, which is a global initiative spearheaded by India and Sweden.