Under international pressure, India, the nation with the highest population density in the world, has increased its production of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and water energy, in light of its overreaching carbon-pollution numbers. India is the last country to revise its sustainability policies for the long term before countries gather for the next summit in December, tackling the issue of climate change in relation to economic development .
In previous conferences, India has resisted emissions reform under the preface that its first priority is alleviating poverty; Indian government officials claimed that this could not be done without heavy reliance on coal fuel. India has additionally claimed that other countries such as the U.S. and Japan should face the brunt of responsibilities, since their historic emissions have been much greater than India’s. Recently, with India’s rise to the top as a major producer of greenhouse gas emissions, the Indian National Congress has reconvened to make new policies .
While India’s new plan is not aimed to absolutely reduce carbon emission levels, it is slated to slow down the anticipated rise of emission levels in the coming years. By 2035, India’s economy is expected to increase seven-fold, as is the rate of carbon emissions. With the new plan enacted, carbon levels are only expected to increase three-fold. The plan anticipates the reduction of coal emissions by 35% by 2035 and the production of 40% of electricity from renewable sources . More importantly, India’s new plan does not require funding from other countries, representing a positive change for India’s economy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated upon the release of the new plan, “We believe this resolution both establishes us as a formidable world energy producer, as well as proves India’s overall economic stability” .
by Alex Small ’18