India announces net zero target not “absolute requirement”: US climate envoy

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Mr Kerry stressed that it was essential to take “concrete steps by 2030” (File)

New Delhi:

US Presidential Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry said on Thursday it would be great if India announced a net zero emissions target for 2050, but “it’s not an absolute requirement.”

He said that with the implementation of India’s 450 gigawatt renewable energy plan by 2030, it will be one of the few countries to help “keep 1.5 degrees alive” (limiting global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels).

Net-zero means balancing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the environment by removing an equivalent volume. This can be achieved through a variety of means, including forest restoration or through direct air capture and storage (DACS) technology, according to the World Resources Institute.

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Mr Kerry stressed that it is essential to take “real action by 2030” and that nations must raise their ambitions to achieve the target set in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

“Net zero by 2050 is not enough,” he said.

When asked if it was practical to expect India to announce a net zero target, he replied: “Do I think it could be? Yes … but that was not my message in my meetings with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi. He understands the challenge. “

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“It would be great if India wanted to say that, but I don’t think it’s an absolute requirement. India is doing whatever it needs to get us there … it’s better than a lot of countries.” , he told reporters. during a press roundtable.

In its attempt to regain global leadership in the fight against climate change, the United States is expected to broadly announce a net zero emissions target for 2050 at President Joe Biden’s upcoming Climate Leaders Summit.

According to Climatewatchdata.org, 59 countries, accounting for 54% of global greenhouse gas emissions, have so far communicated a target of net zero.

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China has said it will achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. India is the only major player holding on.

Mr Kerry said it was helpful to get everyone involved. The United States welcomes this, but more importantly, it is concrete actions from 2020 to 2030.

“If you don’t have the capacity to reach 1.5 (degree limitation), then you don’t have the capacity to reach net zero (emissions targets). It’s urgent. PM Modi understands that and so do we, ”he said. .

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