The Indian federal cabinet approved the new national emissions pledges known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), including reducing the emission intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030 from 2005 levels and meeting half of its electricity demand from non-fossil-based sources, as reported by Reuters on August 5. Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, signatories are obliged to update their NDCs every five years. In India’s first NDC submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015, the country pledged to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33% to 35% compared to 2005 levels and achieve a 40% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030.
According to a cabinet statement, the updated climate pledge will pave the way for India’s long-term goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2070. Last December, the Indian government announced that the country’s installed renewable energy capacity reached 150.05 gigawatts (GW), already making up 40.1% of the total installed electricity capacity of 390.8 GW. To realize the enhanced national climate targets, India’s parliament on August 8 passed the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill to promote the use of non-fossil fuels, including ethanol, green hydrogen, and biomass. The bill allows electricity sector regulators to impose penalties on individuals or organizations that don’t comply with the new energy consumption standards. Furthermore, the bill seeks to introduce new mechanisms such as carbon trading markets and mandate the use of non-fossil fuels to facilitate the decarbonization of the economy.