India's climate mitigation actions, compatible with 2-degree goals, are remarkably progressive in comparison to that of many of its peers. However, with countries announcing their respective goals for net-zero emissions, several debates are focusing on whether and when India will declare its target year. There are two relevant points in this context. First, while it is critical to continue to strive for more ambitious mitigation targets, it is also prudent for India to plan a realistic timeframe for a net-zero goal, considering the domestic economic and socio-political contexts.
Second, the world has been witnessing a 'nomenclature juggling' ever since the climate debates began. From sustainable development to MDGs to NDCs to Net-Zero, these terminologies gave several promises and hopes. This also gave opportunities for many prominent emitters to dilute their respective domestic mitigation targets as well as financial and technology commitments in the past. If India can push these emitters to adhere to an ambitious emission reduction target rather than getting stuck in nomenclature juggling, that would be its most valuable contribution to the climate negotiations.
Adviser, Energy Review