Climate Update: Are We Making Progress?

Climate Update: Are We Making Progress?

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Green Builder Media CEO, Sara Gutterman

Green Builder Media

Friday, January 2, 2015 - 10:00am

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There has been surprisingly scant news this week about the COP20 climate meetings that are taking place in Lima, but the fragments of intelligence passed along to me by colleagues in attendance indicate that hopes remain high that negotiators are making progress towards a global climate action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As intended, the recent agreement between the U.S. and China, whereby the U.S. committed to cut emissions by 28% by 2025 and China pledged to reach peak emissions by 2030, is compelling other countries to set similar targets.

India, the world’s third largest carbon emitter, is under mounting scrutiny. To date, India has committed to reduce emissions 20-25% per unit of GDP below 2005 levels by 2020. However, experts criticize that this level of action isn’t aggressive enough. And, with China’s absolute commitment target to peak its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (the first of its kind by an “emerging” economy), India is feeling mounting pressure to announce a climate strategy and clear emission reductions targets.

In response, it is expected that India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will pledge to boost the nation’s solar power capacity five-fold to 100 gigawatts by 2030, introducing tariffs for solar power that would help increase the country’s solar energy share from 6% to 15%. It has also been reported that Modi is exploring an emissions peak for his country by 2035.

While a high panel has been appointed to advise the Modi government on integrated power sector reform and three top think-tanks in India have been commissioned to analyze GHG emissions trajectories, experts don’t expect a breakthrough declaration from India this week.

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CATEGORY: Environment