India’s 7th Rank In Global Climate Index Signals Green Leadership Amid Energy Challenges

The report lauds India's efforts but urges faster coal phase-outs and increased reliance on renewable sources to accelerate climate action.

by Mallika Khurana
India’s 7th Rank In Global Climate Index Signals Green Leadership Amid Energy Challenges

In the recent Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), India surged to the 7th position, marking an upward trajectory from its previous rank. The unveiling of this report during COP28 in Dubai painted a picture of India as one of the notable performers, a significant nod to its efforts in mitigating climate change.

India Surges To 7th In Climate Change Performance Index

Assessing the climate actions of 63 countries plus the EU, covering a whopping 90% of global greenhouse gas emissions, India showcased commendable strength in managing greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. However, it received a moderate rating in Climate Policy and Renewable Energy. It stands as a consistent reflection of the previous year’s standings.

Despite being the world’s most populous country, India’s per capita emissions remain relatively low, a fact that caught the attention of the index. According to PTI via India Today, this data projected India as being on track to meet the benchmark of keeping the rise in global temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius. However, the pace of progress in renewable energy adoption was flagged as sluggish, indicating a need for acceleration.

The report lauds India’s pursuit of meeting its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) through clear, long-term policies centred around promoting renewable energy and providing financial backing for domestic manufacturing of renewable energy components. Nevertheless, it doesn’t shy away from highlighting India’s reliance on coal, oil, and gas to meet its escalating energy demands, resulting in substantial greenhouse gas emissions and severe urban air pollution.

Ranking Spotlights: Progress And Coal Dependency

Global Climate Index
Photo Credits: Canva

The report draws attention to India’s strategy of levying higher taxes on petrol and diesel, aiming to function as carbon taxes. However, the efficacy of these taxes in reducing consumption remains a point of debate. According to PTI via India Today, the report reflects on a pivotal change in wording at the last COP, where India, alongside China, steered the phrasing towards ‘phasing down’ fossil fuels instead of ‘phasing out.’ This shift posed a setback to global commitments to terminate the fossil fuel era, as per the report’s observations.

Moreover, while India has made strides in large-scale renewable energy projects, the report raises concerns about their adverse impact on local communities, citing instances of land grabs and unequal distribution, raising questions about the sustainability of such initiatives.

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From Emissions Success To Energy Dilemmas

Photo Credits: Canva

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge at COP26 to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070 drew criticism from experts cited in the report, who considered it lacking in ambition and political will. These experts advocate for more aggressive policy implementations, emphasising a faster phase-out of coal, reduced reliance on gas, and accelerated adoption of renewable energy, urging India to aim for a net-zero target no later than 2050.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy, CEO of Vasudha Foundation, echoed a sense of satisfaction with India’s high rank in the CCPI, affirming the country’s concrete actions aligned with its NDCs. As per PTI via India Today, Krishnaswamy highlighted India’s progress in non-fossil power installed capacity and emissions reduction, aligning with and even surpassing set targets, endorsing the credibility of the CCPI results.

India’s climb in the CCPI reflects both commendable progress and areas needing immediate attention, emphasising the nation’s vital role in global climate action.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva

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