As the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to its knees, the 75th UN General Assembly was organised in a fully virtual mode for the first time. The pleasant surprise in these demoralising times was China’s announcement to achieve carbon neutrality, that is, effectively generating net-zero emissions, before 2060.
This is a welcome step from the world’s largest carbon emitter. Post China’s announcement, India’s global engagement strategy is now being scrutinised, with questions about its long-term strategy and rising expectations of enhancing its Paris commitments.
In order to place India’s existing Paris commitments in perspective, it is worthwhile to step back and compare them with the commitments of other countries, based on an independent scientific analysis carried out by the Climate Action Tracker, which has assessed the promised climate commitments across developed and developing countries.
India is one of the only six countries (amongst the 33 that were assessed), and the only G-20 country, whose climate commitments at Paris are on a path compatible to limit warming well below 2°C. Furthermore, it seems that India is well on its way to achieving its carbon intensity reduction and non-fossil-fuel electricity growth capacity commitments well before the 2030 target year.
It is noteworthy that Climate Action Tracker revises its assessments in the light of new commitments (as made by China), as well as due to other events such as the impact of COVID-19 and the resulting recovery packages.