India urged to do more on renewable energy - GulfToday

India urged to do more on renewable energy

Meena Janardhan

Writer/Editor/Consultant. She has over 25 years of experience in the fields of environmental journalism and publishing.

Writer/Editor/Consultant. She has over 25 years of experience in the fields of environmental journalism and publishing.

Renewable Energy

India’s renewable energy uptake and targets scored ‘low’ and ‘medium’ respectively.

Though ranked high along with the European Union (EU) and the UK in the latest edition of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) released by the non-profit Germanwatch, India needs to focus more on renewable energy, both, as a mitigation strategy and for its post-novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) green recovery according to the report. The current index analyzes emissions before the coronavirus crisis and does not reflect emissions reduction during this unusual situation.

India, for the second time in a row, continued to remain in the top 10. The country scored 63.98 points out of 100. It received high ratings on all CCPI indicators except ‘renewable energy’, where it was categorised as having a ‘medium’ performance. Last year, India had been ranked at the ninth position, with an overall score of 66.02.

In the report, India’s performance is ranked ‘medium’ for its current share of renewable energy. However, its performance for development of renewable energy supply during the last year was rated as ‘high’. While the report stressed the need for long-term planning, it pointed out that India’s improved policy framework has been responsible for the country’s good performance in the Index.

India’s renewable energy uptake and targets scored ‘low’ and ‘medium’ respectively for their compatibility being well below 2.0 degrees Celsius. The report highlights that, unlike the other two ‘BASIC’ countries – China and South Africa, India is yet to announce its mitigation strategy. It underlines that this strategy should include post-COVID-19 recovery plans. These would need to include reducing fossil fuel subsidies, phasing out coal, better coordination between the central and state governments and raising self-sufficiency by domestic manufacturing in the renewable sector.

The CCPI assesses each country’s performance in four categories: GHG emissions (40% of the overall ranking), renewable energy (20%), energy use (20%) and climate policy (20%). Sweden reaches the best ranking with a “high” in the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, renewable energy and climate policy categories. In the overall ranking, the United Kingdom (5th) and Denmark (6th) follow Sweden.

In the CCPI 2021, only three G20 members lead in the rankings, with six at the very bottom. The G20, in fact, presents a split picture. The United Kingdom (5th), India (10th) and the EU score high on the index. The vast majority of G20 countries, however, are trailing in the rankings. The USA (61st), Canada (58th), Australia (54th), South Korea (53rd) and Russia (52nd) are all rated ‘very low’.

Again, no country performs well enough in all index categories to achieve an overall “very high” rating in the index. Therefore, the first three ranks in the overall ranking and the category specific rankings remain empty. While a turning point in global emissions seems to be within reach, five years after the Paris Agreement no country is on a path compliant with the Paris Agreement goals. Overall, greenhouse gas emissions have increased slightly, but are actually falling in more than half of the countries (32) surveyed. In two-thirds of the countries (38) more than 10% of the total primary energy required now comes from renewable sources and in twelve of these countries renewables account even for more than 20 percent.

The CCPI is an independent monitoring tool for tracking the climate protection performance of 57 countries and the EU. It has been published annually since 2005 and aims to enhance transparency in international climate politics and enables comparison of climate protection efforts and progress made by individual countries.

The Index helps to access and judge countries’ climate policy, their recent development, current levels and well below the2 degrees Celsius compatibility of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, renewable energies, energy use and their targets for 2030.The climate change performance is therefore assessed under four categories: greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, energy use and climate policy.

The CCPI 2021 shows that a global tuning point might be close, especially regarding worldwide emissions. This year’s index rated the emissions before the COVID-19 pandemic and could detect a small increase of worldwide emissions and a decrease in 32 ranked countries.

This year’s loser is the US. The country is ranked last for the second consecutive year. It is yet to be determined whether president-elect Biden’s announcements towards climate protecting politics are implemented which could change the country’s ranking in the upcoming years.

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