Whether we acknowledge it now or not, Climate change is going to be one of the greatest problems that the world will be facing in the coming years. In fact, the effects of climate change have already started being seen across the Earth.
According to the 5th Assessment Report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), since the year 1880 there has been an increase in average surface temperature of 0.85⁰C. While on the surface it might look like a very small number compared to changes in daily temperature that we see, however to put into perspective how small global temperature changes can have a large effect, if the Earth’s surface temperature was lowered by 5⁰C, we would end up being in a full ice age.
In order to stop from this becoming a reality, the COP21 Climate Change conference in 2015 produced the Paris Agreement, which is a Global agreement between nations that aims to keep the rise in temperature to 1.5⁰C and to ensure that the temperature rise stays well below 2⁰C above pre-industrial times. In order to successfully achieve this, the global greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride) emissions must be stabilized and then reduced.
CO2 emissions, in the past 800,000 years before the industrial revolution struck the world, had fluctuated between 180ppm (when the Earth was in an ice age) to a maximum of 280ppm (in a warmer interglacial period). Never in the recent history or during the times in which the humans have inhabited the Earth has the atmospheric CO2 concentration been as high as it is now.
India being the world’s fourth-largest greenhouse gas emitter was initially hesitant of officially formalizing the Paris agreement as the country feared that it did not have the ability to meet its targets. But after much deliberation, the government ended up ratifying the agreement on Oct 2, 2016.
And now, according to a recent government forecast, in a period of ten years, India could be getting as much as sixty percent of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources.
A draft of India’s 10-year energy blueprint has revealed that the government is expecting as much as 57 percent of the country’s total electricity capacity to come from non-fossil fuel sources by the year 2027 — a significant increase over the country’s Paris agreement targets, which has asked the member countries to reach 40 percent non-fossil fuel electricity by the year 2030.
Commenting on the Indian government’s forecast, Tim Buckley, a director at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, told the Guardian that India is moving beyond fossil fuels at a pace scarcely imagined only two years ago, and this is indeed absolutely transformational.
Private investments have played a crucial role is boosting India’s renewable goals over the last couple of years, even as the Indian government has somewhere lagged when it came to allocating funds to renewable projects.
Over the period of past one year, India has been successful in attracting a whopping $20 billion dollar investment in the country’s solar energy sector from Japan’s Softbank, and another $2 billion from EDF, a famous French energy company. Recently, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which is the U.S. government’s development finance institution, joined hands with the Indian government’s to launch a $20 million finance initiative to help fund renewable energy in India . Though the fate of this initiative can’t be predicted under the current U.S. President Trump, who has time and again stated that he doesn’t believe in climate change and will be cancelling all wasteful climate change spending when he takes over the White House.