Developed nations must cut emissions first, says Power Minister

Union Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister R.K. Singh said on Tuesday that it is the developed countries who need to cut down their emissions first in the fight against climate change.

Explaining India’s position in the wake of the upcoming COP28, the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2023, the minister said: “The developed countries used fossil fuels for developing their economies but they want to tell us that we should not use coal.”

“Around 85 per cent of the carbon dioxide load in the atmosphere is due to the path of industrialisation followed by developed countries. India’s population is 17 per cent of world population while our contribution to carbon dioxide load is only 3.5 per cent. Even now, our per capita emissions are one third of world average, while that of developed countries is three times the world average,” Singh told journalists after inaugurating the Power Ministry’s pavilion at the International Trade Fair in Pragati Maidan.

The minister emphasised that India is not going to make any compromise on the electricity needs for a growing economy.

“We need to develop. At the same time, we will do that responsibly. We were nine years ahead in achieving the nationally determined contributions (NDC) target of having 40 per cent of installed power capacity from non-fossil-fuel sources by 2030. We pledged at COP-21 in 2015, that we will reduce our emissions intensity by 33 per cent by 2030; we did this by 2019. So, in Glasgow, we have said that by 2030, we will have 50 per cent of our capacity coming from renewables and that we will reduce our emission intensity by 45 per cent. We will achieve it. So, we are on target,” Singh said.

He added that India is adding renewable energy capacity at the fastest rate in the world.

The Minister said that the Power Pavilion at IITF showcases the initiatives and transformation brought by the government in the power sector.

“We have transformed the sector, adding around 1.9 lakh MW power capacity during the last nine years. The entire country has been joined under one national grid. The distribution system has been strengthened, with an investment of Rs. 2.1 lakh crores,” he added.

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