India to hit net-zero emissions target by 2070: Modi

Indian PM Narendra Modi listens to a speaker during the opening ceremony of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, on Nov 1, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

GLASGOW (AFP) - India's economy will become carbon neutral by the year 2070, the country's prime minster announced Monday (Nov 1) at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

"By 2070, India will achieve the target of net-zero emissions," Narendra Modi told more than 120 leaders at the critical talks.

India is the last of the world's major carbon polluters to announce a net-zero target, with China saying it would reach that goal in 2060, and the US and the EU aiming for 2050.

Modi also said India would increase its 2030 target for installed capacity of "non-fossil energy" - mostly solar - from 450 to 500 gigawatts.

In addition, 50 per cent of the country's energy requirements will come from renewable sources by the same date.

Modi also announced that the carbon intensity of India's economy - the amount of goods produced per unit of energy - would be reduced by 45 per cent by 2030.

The previous goal was 35 per cent.

Modi made it clear however that emissions cutting pledges from India and other developing nations would require finance from rich, historic emitters.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries that submitted carbon cutting plans under the 2015 treaty were to provide updates five years later, by the end of 2020.

India is the only major economy not to have not done so, but Modi's announcement is likely to be formalised in a revised plan, experts suggested.

India has the lowest per capita emissions of the world's major economies - emitting five per cent of the total, despite accounting for 17 per cent of the world's population.

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