The study conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) brings out some disturbing facts. According IPCC study, the world is now nearly 1° Celsius warmer than at any point of time in the past nearly 200 decades, and it is anticipated to become warmer by another 1.5° Celsius by 2040, a situation which can make only the air conditioner makers happier. So, there is an urgent need to take some corrective actions. In order to limit the global warming to 1.5° Celsius, the world would need innovative and bold solutions to enable industrial decarbonization and eliminate approximately 40% of the global emissions.
Given the size and population of our country, for India the climate risks have grown manifold. In fact, the country ranks among the top 20 nations globally on the GermanWatch’s Global Climate Risk Index Rankings 2000-2019; in 2019, it was among the 10 most vulnerable nations ranked on this index in terms of climate risks. Surely, it’s not a comfortable place to be in.
It is estimated that an incremental investment of approximately USD 50 trillion would be required by 2050 to meet the ultimate target of achieving net zero emissions both by the government and business. The adoption of alternative sources of energy such as solar will drive emission reductions until 2030; however, beyond 2030, breakthrough technologies such as energyefficient solutions, hydrogen-based fuels, bioenergy and carbon capture / utilization / storage solutions among others will have to play a key role in reducing carbon emissions.
Buildings account for nearly 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 40% of raw material use. Therefore, assessing and imbibing ESG, i.e., environment, social and governance, into real estate and construction is paramount for India to be able to achieve their sustainability goals.
India has recently announced its ‘Net Zero Target’ in the COP-26 summit at Glasgow. Further, under the Copenhagen Accord India had set a target to reduce the GDP (total amount of greenhouse gas emissions emitted for every unit of GDP) by 20-25% by 2020 from 2005 levels and achieved the target by cutting emissions by 21%.
However, it is to be noted that these targets can be achieved through multiple mitigation and adaptation strategies, climate change finance instruments, external / international cooperation, technology transfer and support, and capacity building. In this respect, there are numerous policies in effect under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) which include National Missions for solar, enhanced energy efficiency, sustainable habitat, water, Green India, sustainable agriculture, sustaining the Himalayan eco-system, and strategic knowledge for climate change.
So, what we need right now is not more laws but stricter implementation of existing laws. Creating more awareness about these laws and also improving the monitoring system can help us to take towards the goal.