Study outlines key strategies to decouple economic growth from carbon emissions by 2070

Study outlines key strategies to decouple economic growth from carbon emissions by 2070

In a significant step towards achieving its ambitious net zero target by 2070, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) unveiled a discussion paper titled “India’s Journey to Net Zero: A Conceptual Framework for Analysis.” The study outlines a roadmap for India’s transition to a low-carbon economy, focusing on decoupling economic growth from rising emissions.

The framework identifies key emitting sectors like electricity, transportation, industry, agriculture, and residential cooking. It acknowledges India’s future as a developed nation and the potential rise in per capita emissions. However, the study emphasizes the need to achieve a peak in emissions followed by a decline to reach net zero by 2070.

“Focus has been on decoupling growth in supply from carbon emissions,” stated TERI Chairman Nitin Desai. He emphasized the importance of addressing demand-side growth as well. “Redesigning buildings to be more energy-efficient and reducing transportation demand can significantly decrease emissions,” he explained.

Dr. Vibha Dhawan, TERI Director General, highlighted the need for further research based on the initial findings. “This study provides a simplified view,” she said. “We need more rigorous sectoral analysis, including detailed modeling and cost projections.” Dr. Dhawan called for stakeholder input to refine the framework and identify the most effective pathways to net zero.

The study suggests that peaking emissions in the electricity sector could be achieved at minimal cost. Additionally, transitioning transport and cooking sectors to electric alternatives offers significant emission reduction potential. These measures, combined with a completely green transportation sector and zero-emission electricity generation, could eliminate nearly 55% of India’s current emissions.

India’s proactive approach, including the National Hydrogen Mission, is seen as a crucial step towards decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors and solidifying its position as a leader in climate action. Pilot projects in these sectors will be essential for achieving net zero.

The concluding remarks stressed the vital role of non-state actors, particularly the corporate sector. TERI’s Industry Charter for Near-Zero Emissions by 2050 exemplifies this collaborative effort. Technological innovation and supportive policy instruments will be essential for a smooth transition, according to TERI Programme Director Girish Sethi.

While the path to net zero is challenging, TERI emphasizes that collective action from all stakeholders is key. The framework proposes sector-specific strategies and calls for further research to develop a feasible roadmap for achieving net zero emissions. This approach underscores the critical need to decouple economic growth from carbon emissions for a sustainable future for India.