India will achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2070, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the COP26 summit in the Scottish city of Glasgow on Monday, spelling out the target for the first time that gives the country 10 years more than China and 20 more than the US and European Union.
The pledge was among five commitments by the Prime Minister at the UN Conference.
“First – India will reach its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030,” he said.
“Second – India will meet 50 percent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030,” he said.
“Third – India will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now to 2030,” the PM said.
“Fourth – By 2030, India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy to less than 45 per cent,” he said.
“And fifth – by 2070, India will achieve the target of net zero,” he added.
Considered a milestone in climate action pledges, “net zero” refers to a balance where emissions of greenhouse gases that raise the globe’s temperature continue but are offset by the absorption of an equivalent amount from the atmosphere.
Experts see ‘net zero’ targets as a critical measure to successfully tackle climate change and its devastating consequences.
Defending India’s net zero timeline that sets it much later than other polluters, he said the country had been sticking to its pledges “in spirit and letter”.
The Prime Minister also called for a global push to adopt sustainable lifestyles “instead of mindless and destructive consumption”.