India pledges net-zero carbon emissions by 2070...

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India pledges net-zero carbon emissions by 2070

 International Desk

 Published: 11:21 AM, 2 November 2021  

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

India has promised to cut its emissions to net-zero by 2070 - missing a key goal of the COP26 summit for countries to commit to reach that target by 2050.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the pledge, the first time India has set a net-zero target, at the Glasgow summit.

Net-zero, or becoming carbon neutral, means not adding to the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

China has announced plans for carbon neutrality by 2060, while the US and EU aim to hit net zero by 2050.

The Indian leader is one of more than 120 leaders to have gathered in Glasgow for the two-week conference.

Dozens gave speeches on Monday laying out goals to tackle the climate crisis, including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden and UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

President Biden said that every day the world delayed in tackling climate change, the cost of inaction increased.

But he told delegates that the fight against global warming offered incredible opportunities for world economies.

India is the world's fourth-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide after China, the US and the EU.

But its huge population means its emissions per capita are much lower than other major world economies. India emitted 1.9 tonnes of CO2 per head of population in 2019, compared with 15.5 tonnes for the US and 12.5 tonnes for Russia that year.

Modi made the pledge as one of five commitments from his country.

They include a promise for India to get 50% of its energy from renewable resources by 2030, and by the same year to reduce total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes.

While the 2070 net-zero target may have disappointed activists and experts in Glasgow, Modi seems to have impressed people back home.

The BBC's Vikas Pandey reports that the prime minister appears to have found the middle ground for his base - he is seen as being serious about climate change but without compromising India's economic potential.

Most headlines are using words like "big" and "major" to describe the announcement, our correspondent reports. - BBC