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No silver bullet to India’s net zero puzzle: Think Tank


India at COP27 is now part of the elite set of nations having expressed its ambitions to curb greenhouse gasoline emissions ultimately yr’s summit in Glasgow.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his tackle at COP26, promised to attain internet zero carbon ranges by 2070. The five-point local weather motion plan dubbed as “panchamrit” that means 5 values is believed to spice up India’s swap to renewable power, electrification and hydrogen fuels.

India too has launched its long-term low emissions and improvement methods right this moment on the COP 27, the two-week lengthy local weather convention occurring in Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh. Nonetheless, India’s dedication in the direction of tackling local weather change unsurprisingly has its personal complexities due to its demographics and the nation’s financial system.

A contemporary report from the Bengaluru-based assume tank the Heart for Research of Science, Know-how and Coverage (CSTEP) titled No Silver Bullet: Essays on India’s Internet-Zero Transition goals to kindle conversations touching these advanced areas thereby providing a futuristic perspective on India’s net-zero pathway.

“Future uncertainty isn’t a novel idea and modelling teams have been attempting to handle it by creating a number of completely different eventualities for the long run. Nonetheless, merely presenting vary eventualities can’t be a proxy for deep uncertainty evaluation,” the report said because it delves into 5 key areas — demand estimation conundrum, industrial decarbonisation, the facility sector, behavioural shifts for a sustainable atmosphere and carbon pricing.

Whereas research prior to now have pointed to net-zero transition leading to important GDP positive aspects, this report raises a reputable query whether or not demand would go up in a net-zero world.

“As nations develop, per capita demand for sure supplies and providers are inclined to saturate,” the report mentioned. As India is predicted to change into a developed nation by the 2050s, the report requires a backside up demand estimation framework to have a greater understanding of areas that would attain saturation factors.

Relating to industrial decarbonisation, the report suggests electrification as an environment friendly solution to meet the facility calls for of industries.

“The grid anticipated to be more and more powered by renewables due to their falling costs going ahead, totally switching to grid-based electrical energy has an abatement potential of as much as 90% for the aluminium trade and 15% for the cement trade,” the report famous.

The report additionally mentions the commercialisation of carbon seize and storage (CCS) and inexperienced hydrogen applied sciences as choices.

LiveMint had requested the authors on this suggestion as using carbon seize and storage strategies is seen by sure sections throughout the scientific neighborhood as a justification for indefinite use of fossil fuels.

“For hard-to-abate sectors just like the cement and metal trade, we discover that measures like electrification, power effectivity and various fuels are unable to deliver it to finish decarbonisation.” Kaveri Ashok, one of many three authors of this report had mentioned.

“Internet zero seems to be contingent on rising applied sciences like Carbon Seize, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) and inexperienced hydrogen together with the opposite measures,” she provides.

The report bats for adoption of nuclear power together with renewables citing challenges concerned within the RE sector. Intermittency points, excessive dependency on sure minerals – copper, cobalt and lithium and land conflicts are a few of them.

With round 30% of India’s inhabitants in poverty and the per capita consumption ranges staging under the worldwide common, the report states that “it might be unfair to think about any radical reductions in consumption.” It nonetheless recommended dietary shifts in the direction of millets as a substitute of rice, good mobility selections and use of power saving units as few methods of dwelling for a sustainable atmosphere.

As India gears as much as introduce carbon pricing, the report maintains a cautiously optimistic tone owing to the spillovers it may have on the Indian economic system.

“Carbon pricing can play a job in bringing concerning the power methods transformation we have to get to internet zero however it should have to be supplemented by non-market interventions corresponding to focused assist for rising improvements, strengthening institutional capacities, and restructuring markets,” Krithika Ravishankar who’s an analyst on the assume tank mentioned.

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