The United Nations has asked India to update and enhance its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday. The organisation said India can announce its strategy to reduce emissions at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23.
United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Change Luis Alfonso de Alba met Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday, The Hindu reported. Alba discussed India’s initiatives to meet its climate commitments.
Alba said India should enhance its Nationally Determined Contribution under the 2015 Paris climate agreement. “I have asked them to come with a more ambitious plan,” Alba said at a press conference. “I am aware that a lot is being done on renewable energy. More work needs to be done on air quality, agriculture and other areas.”
The UN envoy said the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was exhorting countries and leaders to come with concrete plans at the meeting and not mere policy statements. “We need to be getting into a trajectory to achieve emission cuts to cap warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius,” he added.
At the summit in September, world leaders will be called on to enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions in line with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% in the next decade and to net zero emissions by 2050. “In addition, governments will have to individually come out with their own plans to update and enhance their nationally determined contribution by having plans for 2020, 2030 and 2050,” Alba said.
Javadekar, in a series of tweets, said India was working to cut emissions. “India is taking leadership position in achieving the NDCs,” he said. “We have already created 80 GW of renewable power & have set a target of achieving 175 GW by 2022. We have already reduced energy intensity by 21% and are on track.”
The minister said India’s forest cover was increasing and the country was on course to meet additional carbon sync target. “Construction of 90 million toilets has practically made India open defecation free and helping Clean India Campaign and Clean River Campaign,” he added.
Javadekar said the distribution of 70 million gas cylinders under Ujjwala Scheme had helped save trees, reduce pollution and improve health. “Large-scale replacement of conventional bulbs with LED bulbs has ensured saving of electricity and reduction in pollution,” he added.