COP26 and India’s commitments 


By Ushma Doshi

23rd November 2021

The United Nations, since 1995 has hosted global climate summits called “Conference of the Parties” (COP’s) where almost every country is invited. This year, the 26th annual summit (COP26)  was held from 31st October 2021 to 12th November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. This prominent international conference was held with the main aim to tackle climate change, bringing together several climate experts, campaigners, over a 100 world leaders, negotiators, government representatives and citizens. 


COP26 was no less than an absolute emergency. The importance of this conference dates back to the Paris Agreement, a global treaty adopted in 2015 at COP21 held in Paris. The Paris Agreement aims to strengthen countries' ability to deal with the impacts of climate change and support them financially. It laid down a global framework to mitigate climate change by curbing global warming to below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. 192 Parties joined the agreement and decided to return after 5 years with an updated plan reflecting their ambition and status. 


The main goals at COP 26 were to secure global net zero by mid century, keep 1.5 degrees within reach, to adapt and protect communities and natural habitats, to mobilize finance and work together. Countries were asked to reveal their plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and developed nations were asked to provide double adaptation amounts to finance the countries suffering majorly from climate change. Apart from this, 

  1. Over 140 countries submitted their updated 2030 climate plans and targets. 
  2. More than 100 countries joined to halt deforestation and land degradation by 2030. 
  3. The Global Methane Pledge to reduce methane emissions was taken by over 100 countries.


India’s Commitments at COP26 

India is the most populous country after China. India has one of the oldest and the largest world economies. India is also ranked 7th on the list of countries most affected by climate change as per the global climate risk index. 

At COP26, Narendra Modi detailed a five -point climate action plan which he called as “India’s five elixirs” for climate. The following was pledged by India at COP26: 


  1. India committed to reach net-zero emissions by 2070. Net-Zero emissions or Carbon Neutrality simply means achieving a balance between the greenhouse gas emissions produced and greenhouse gas emissions taken out of the atmosphere.The 2070 goal comes as a surprise for a country who is the world's third largest emitter. It is a bold step for India as 50% of its electricity is still generated from coal but this can have real world impacts starting today. 


  1. India also pledged to install 500 gigawatts of non-fossil fuel energy by 2030. This means that India will produce 50% of its energy requirements from renewables. In simple words, if India curbs its investment in Coal, non-fossil fuel energy will be promoted and the target can be achieved. 


  1. India also committed to reduce the projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tons between now and 2030. Meaning, there will be 1 billion tonnes of lesser emissions. 


  1. Modi also announced that India will reduce its Carbon intensity by 45% by 2030. This reduction will gaave India emit less carbon for its growth, it will boost India's adaptation of cleaner technologies in various sectors. 


  1. Modi also spoke on Climate Finance where he stated that the developing countries require $1trillion at the earliest from the developed countries to meet the net zero targets and to adopt a greener growth trajectory.