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India questions net zero targets ahead of COP26

India is unlikely to set any net zero carbon emission target ahead of the climate change summit beginning in Glasgow on Sunday and may make a formal commitment to achieve 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, experts and news reports said.

India is unlikely to set any net zero carbon emission target ahead of the climate change summit beginning in Glasgow on Sunday and may make a formal commitment to achieve 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, experts and news reports said.

India’s contribution is crucial as it is the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Currently, almost 60 per cent of India’s energy comes from coal.

A United Nations Environment Programme report published on Tuesday said India had significant room to raise its emission reduction goal.

After an inter-ministry meeting on Wednesday to discuss India’s position at the summit, Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav tweeted: “As the country remains a ‘high performer’ in the Climate Change Performance Index, India is also on track to achieve the renewable energy target of 450 GW by 2030.”

Announcing a distant net zero goal may not be a solution to the present climate change crisis, a senior official who attended the meeting at the prime minister’s office was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times newspaper.

“So, we may focus on immediate goals. But options are still open. The net zero option has not been closed,” the official said.

India has so far achieved an installed capacity of 100 GW of renewable energy.

The 450 GW target by 2030 is ambitious and an expression of the country’s commitment to addressing climate change, Disha Agarwal, programme lead at Delhi-based think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among world leaders scheduled to attend the Glasgow summit.

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