As petrol prices in India touch the three digit figure and are in no mood to stop there, the government has advanced its plan to bring 20 per cent ethanol mixed fuel into the market, from the earlier timeline of 2030 to 2025. It would be logical to welcome the step that would bring about self reliance in fuel, substantial saving of foreign exchange, and significant reduction in pollution levels and growth in the rural economy.
It is said that a good deed must not be delayed. By accelerating the process of achieving 20 per cent ethanol mixed fuel five years earlier than originally planned, the government has acted upon these words.
Let us go back in history to set the context. The issue of finding sustainable alternatives to conventional fuel sources was underlined when fuel prices went through the roof in the 70s. After some lull it picked up again at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 when concrete goals were set towards environment protection.
However, the problem of environmental pollution continued unbridled over years until 2015, when the issue was brought to the table at the United Nations led Paris Convention. The prime goal set during this meet was to bring down carbon emissions all over the world as early as possible and to keep the global temperature rise less than 2 degrees celcius.
Countrywise goals were determined. India accepted the ‘Nationally Determined Contribution’ of reducing carbon emissions by 33 to 35 per cent and to create green cover adequate to absorb 2.5 to 3 crore tons of carbon dioxide, by the year 2030.