From March 2014 to October 2021, India’s installed capacity for solar energy increased more than 18 times, said a press release by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
While addressing the Lok Sabha on December 6, 2021, India’s Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey said that the country is committed to development along a low-carbon pathway while maintaining its commitment to sustainable development.
Through the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) and its various National Missions, India is addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation across a range of sectors.
Installed capacity of solar energy in India has increased by more than 18 times from 2.63 GW in March 2014 to 47.66 GW in October 2021. As a result, India’s current share of non-fossil sources based installed capacity of electricity generation is more than 40%.
As a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), India periodically submits its National Communications (NCs) and Biennial Update Reports (BURs) to the UNFCCC which includes national Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventory.
As per India’s third BUR submitted to the UNFCCC in February 2021, total GHG emissions, excluding Land Use Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) in 2016 were 2,838.89 million tonne CO2e and 2,531.07 million tonne CO2e with the inclusion of LULUCF.
India’s total GHG emission also includes CO2 emissions from oil & gas sector and industrial processes and product use (IPPU) sector.
India is making every effort to decouple its growth from emissions, by steadily lowering the emissions intensity of its GDP over the years. This keeps India’s GHG emissions below what would otherwise have been emitted.
“As a developing country Party under the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement India is committed to development along a low-carbon pathway while maintaining its commitment to sustainable development. To meet this objective, India has undertaken a number of programmes, initiatives, schemes and other steps,” said Mr. Choubey.
Under Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme, a total of 36.78 crores LED bulbs have been distributed to enhance energy efficiency. Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme for energy efficiency in industries and other energy-intensive sectors resulted in total savings of approximately 13.28 million tons of oil equivalent, translating into 61.34 MtCO2 of avoided emissions in the PAT Cycle II.
Forest and tree cover has increased by 13031 km2 between the 2015 and 2019 assessments of the Forest Survey of India. Forest and tree cover sequestered 331 MtCO2 in 2016 which is around 15% of total carbon dioxide emissions occurring in the country. India’s LULUCF sink (CO2 removal) is on the rise by 3.4% between 2014 and 2016 and by approximately 40% between 2000 and 2016.
Based on field surveys and satellite data, the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management has estimated the total extent of seagrass ecosystem in India to be 516.59 km2. The CO2 sequestration rate of seagrass ecosystem is estimated to be up to 434.9 tonnes/km2/year with an annual net CO2 sink of 0.75 million tonnes for an area of 517 km2.
Further, the Government has also initiated a project across the States of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Odisha on Enhancing climate resilience of India’s coastal communities at a total cost of US $130.269 million which includes a grant of US$ 43.419 million by Global Climate Fund (GCF) covering 24 ecosystems in these selected States which aims to strengthen the climate resilience of coastal communities by protecting and restoring India’s natural ecosystems such as mangroves and seagrass.
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