Challenges in achieving Climate Goals – UPSC GS3

What are the challenges in achieving climate goals?
  • World:
    • Consensus building: Nations don’t agree even on the most important baselines like net-zero emissions or the when and how much of green financing is to be done. For example, the UK’s proposal on phasing out coal in a short time looks to be un-doable for large coal-dependent economies like China and India.
    • Clean technology: The low-income group countries are unable to invest in clean technology research. This is worsened by the apathy of higher-income groups towards the transfer of technology.
  • India:
    • Economy vs Ecology: For example, India has a large number of people dependent on the coal economy for jobs and 70% dependence on energy needs.
    • Political economy: Industries like thermal power, cement, iron, and steel are major economic players in some states. The long transition from a coal economy can witness stiff regional political pushbacks.
    • Standard of living: With higher incomes, people will buy more air-conditioners and cars in India. All this is potentially climate negative.
What steps should be taken by India?
  • Green hydrogen: A clean fuel that’s well within India’s technological capacity to produce in very large quantities, must be executed fast.
  • Separate fund and fiscal incentives: GoI should create a separate fund for incubating clean tech, and incentivise private players further via huge tax breaks. The fund should be managed by professionals from industry and academia, free of bureaucratic interference.