STOCKHOLM (AP) - As the last major economy to submit a target for a global climate pact, India is pledging to reduce the intensity of its carbon emissions and boost the share of electricity produced from sources other than fossil fuels to 40 percent by 2030.
STOCKHOLM (AP) — As the last major economy to submit a target for a global climate pact, India is pledging to reduce the intensity of its carbon emissions and boost the share of electricity produced from sources other than fossil fuels to 40 percent by 2030.
The world's third-largest carbon polluter filed its climate action plan to the Germany-based U.N. climate secretariat late Thursday, the deadline for pledges before a December conference in Paris, where governments are supposed to adopt a landmark deal to fight climate change.
In a 38-page submission citing Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian government said it would slash the rate of emissions relative to gross domestic product by 33-35 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.
It said India has already reduced its carbon intensity by 12 percent since 2005.
The carbon intensity goal will allow India's emissions to grow as its economy expands, but at a lower rate than now.
"It is estimated that more than half of India of 2030 is yet to be built," the government said.
Environmental groups following the U.N. climate talks welcomed India's pledge.
"India now has positioned itself as a global leader in clean energy, and is poised to play an active and influential role in the international climate negotiations this December," said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental think tank based in New York.
India plans a fivefold boost in renewable energy capacity in the next five years to 175 gigawatts, including solar power, wind, biomass and small hydropower dams.
By 2030, the government said its installed capacity from "non-fossil fuel based energy resources" would grow to 40 percent.
India said boosting its renewables to that level would require help with transfer of clean technology and financing — two of the crunch issues before the Paris deal, which is supposed to apply to all countries but also include provisions for rich countries to help poor countries fight climate change and adapt to its consequences.
Scientists say the carbon emissions released by the burning of fossil fuels — coal, oil and gas — are a key driver of rising temperatures that could lead to potentially catastrophic impacts, including flooding of island nations and intensifying droughts.
Indian Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar last week told The Associated Press that developed countries should "vacate the carbon space" to allow India's emissions to increase. "That carbon space demand is climate justice," he said.