The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the central government to file a status report about the promises made by India during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow last year, PTI reported.
A bench of acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla passed the direction while hearing public interest litigation filed by advocate Rohit Madan.
In his plea, Madan said that an expert committee should be formed for suggesting legislative amendments to follow up on the promises made at the Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26. He said the committee should comprise eminent jurists and technical experts.
India had announced that it would attain net zero carbon emissions by 2070 at the summit. This was the first time that India had mentioned a target of net-zero emissions. Net zero carbon emission means that the amount of carbon added the atmosphere is equal to the amount removed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also said that by 2030, India will fulfil 50% of its energy requirements through renewable energy sources.
India is the world’s third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter after China and the United States, making its goals crucial in the fight against climate change.
During Wednesday’s hearing, the petitioner contended that India’s commitments were made before a formal international forum of which it is also a member and a signatory, according to PTI.
“These commitments involve a shift to renewable and green energy from current coal-based energy,” Madan said in his plea. “All businesses in India will have to adjust their practices and make necessary changes anticipating the shift. The state is bound by the promises it made and must deliver on the same.”
In response, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma said that the Union government has already set up several committees, such as the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change that focuses on meeting the country’s international obligations.