Is India really a global climate leader?

Five years ago, on December 12, 2015, world leaders agreed on the Paris Agreement and set themselves three goals to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change: adaptation for addressing and reducing vulnerability to climate change, mitigation for reducing emissions to limit the global temperature increase to well below 2°C up to 1.5°C, and making financial flows consistent with climate goals.

By the end of 2020, we already know what a 1.2°C warmer world feels like – wildfires, floods, cyclones, droughts, melting glaciers, sea-level rise, species extinction, crop failures, the decline of fisheries, and a full-blown global pandemic. We also know that it is going to get worse unless world governments take drastic and bold action.

It may surprise many that India is the only G20 country that is currently on track for the 2°C degree scenario, according to The Climate Transparency Report (CTR), the annual review of G20 countries’ climate action. India also figures in the top 10 for the second year in a row in The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2021. The CCPI analyses and compares climate protection across 57 countries (plus the EU as a whole) with the highest emissions. The truth is that the world is not doing anywhere near enough to meet the 1.5°C target.

According to the latest UNEP Emissions Gap report, the world is still heading for a temperature rise in excess of 3°C degrees this century.

India ranks high in these reports, merely due to its ambitious renewable energy and energy efficiency targets that include 33-35 percent reduction in the emissions intensity of GDP (compared to 2005 by 2030)

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