New Delhi: Climate finance will remain critical to successful climate action by developing countries, including India, according to the Economic Survey 2021-22, which was tabled by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in both houses of Parliament on Monday.
“There is a greater thrust on climate action following the announcement of India’s target of becoming Net Zero by 2070. Climate finance will remain critical to successful climate action by developing countries, including India,” survey said.
India submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement on a “best effort basis” keeping its developmental imperatives in mind.
India committed to reduce the emission intensity of GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 as compared to 2005 level; create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030; and achieve about 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel energy resources by 2030.
Prime Minister Modi as a part of the national statement delivered at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP 26) in Glasgow in November 2021, announced ambitious targets to be achieved by 2030 to enable further reduction in emissions.
The report of Economic survey also mentioned that the total carbon stock in the country’s forests is estimated to be 7,204 million tonnes, and the carbon stock in forest has Sustainable Development and Climate Change 229 increased by 79.4 million tonnes as compared to the last assessment of 2019.
According to the Central Electricity Authority, as on 31st December 2021, the share of non-fossil sources in installed capacity of electricity generation was 40.20 per cent. 6.58.
India has been making strides towards achieving the social, economic and environmental goals covered under SDGs. According to the survey India’s performance on the NITI Aayog SDG India Index has improved from an overall score of 60 in 2019-20 to 66 in 2020-21.
“Despite 2020-21 being a pandemic year, India performed well on eight of the 15 SDGs measured by the NITI Aayog SDG India Index. These included – goal 3 (good health and well-being), goal 6 (clean water and sanitation), goal 7 (affordable and clean energy), goal 10 (reduced inequalities), goal 11 (sustainable cities and communities), goal 12 (responsible consumption and production), goal 15 (life on land) and goal 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions”.
The survey also highlighted that India has increased its forest area significantly over the past decade.
“It ranks third globally in average annual net gain in forest area between 2010 to 2020, adding an average 2,66,000 ha of additional forest area every year during the period, or adding approximately 0.38 per cent of the 2010 forest area every year between 2010 to 2020,” it said.
The survey also observed that Climate change-related financial risks pose both micro and macro prudential concerns and that in May 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) set up a new unit–‘Sustainable Finance Group’ (SFG) within its Department of Regulation to effectively counter these risks, and for leading the regulatory initiatives in the areas of sustainable finance and climate risk.
It said India is actively contributing to the global efforts towards green finance and the RBI joined the Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) as a member on April 23rd, 2021 and has begun participating in the work streams of the NGFS.
On November 3, 2021, RBI published a ‘Statement of Commitment to Support Greening India’s Financial System – NGFS’ it said.
The survey also talked about the various initiative started by Indi at world level. In 2021, India continued exercising significant climate leadership at the international stage under the International Solar Alliance (ISA), Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT Group). The chapter also discusses several initiatives taken in the area of sustainable finance by the Ministry of Finance, RBI and SEBI.
“ISA is mandated to facilitate mobilization of USD 1 trillion in solar investments by 2030 for massive scale-up of solar energy deployment. The Strategic Plan of the ISA for 2021-2026 identifies three key global issues – Energy Access, Energy Security, and Energy Transition,” the report said.