India Is Charting A Low Carbon Future — Building Better From the Start

Electric Rickshaws in India       Photo: Saumya Khandelwal for The Washington Post

The Washington Post took a closer look at India’s chances for pulling itself out of poverty without a concomitant increase in its greenhouse gas emissions, noting that while China was unable to do so, India just might have a chance — it is on track to meet its two major pledges under the Paris agreement on climate change ahead of schedule before 2030.  As The Post explains, “India is the only major country in the world where actions to combat emissions are compatible with the goal of limiting global warming to an average of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), according to Climate Action Tracker.

In the Paris Agreement, India pledged to :(1) ensure that 40 percent of its electricity-generation capacity comes from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030; and (2) to reduce its “emissions intensity” — a ratio of total emissions to the gross domestic product — by at least one-third compared with 2005 levels. At the same time, even though it still depends greatly on dirty coal-fired power plants, India has increased its solar-energy capacity more than twelvefold since 2014 and launched initiatives to save electricity.  And it is growing its EV market with electric rickshaws.

Why This Matters:  Countries like India that are just now building up their middle class have the opportunity, if the cost is low enough, to leapfrog more developed countries and go directly to low-carbon, energy-efficient technologies.  They don’t have to build back better — they will just build it better in the first place.

To Go Deeper: Read the entire story here.

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