| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

COP28: India, China abstain from renewable power pledge, 118 nations sign

India and China, both significant economies and leading coal consumers globally, chose not to participate in a commitment made by 118 nations during the annual UN climate summit (COP28).
The pledge focused on tripling the global renewable energy generation capacity to around 11,000 GW and doubling energy efficiency’s average annual rate by 2030. India decided to keep away from signing the pledge while continuing its stance of using coal till 2030.

Despite taking many steps to increase the country’s non-fossil fuel energy generation capacity which includes wind, solar and hydel, it has not been willing to make commitments regarding majorly cutting down its reliance on coal-fired power plants, which is the main source of generating electricity.
India has continued to maintain that it will not be “pressured” into making the reduction of the usage of coal as it is not willing to compromise on the power supply which drives its economic growth and even in the G20 Declaration, which had prioritised de-addiction to coal, kept its stance of using coal at least till 2030.

The stance by India has place it at odds with the emerging consensus of decreasing dependency on fossil fuel and in congruence with China along with other oil producers Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran.
However, government officials have continued to maintain that India has been targetting to substantially increase its non-fossil power capacity by 2030, in accordance with the climate action pledge taken under the Paris Agreement, while maintaining that it cannot make any commitment which disturbs the priority of boosting development so as to lift millions out of poverty.

The officials said that India’s principled stand should not be taken as rigidity because India can be a part of the deal later after its terms are negotiated, as the agreement clearly notes the circumstances of every country and their capability to negotiate.
“After all, it has been done outside the COP28 negotiation process. It just reflects the intent of global efforts and there has been no question mark on India’s intent. India is already on board as part of the signatory of the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration,” an observer said, as reported by The Times Of India.

At the G20 leaders’ summit which was organised in Delhi and where a unanimous communique was issued, the richest countries in the world, including those who did not participate, had agreed to “pursue and encourage efforts to triple renewable energy capacity globally through existing targets and policies, as well as demonstrate similar ambition with respect to other zero and low-emission technologies, including abatement and removal technologies, in line with national circumstances by 2030”.

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