COBENEFITS Studies in India
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Status quo energy policy
India’s geography is very diverse, from its vast coastline to the great Himalayan mountain range in the north. The country accounts for about 17.5% of the global population and around 2.4% of the total land area on Earth. Despite its considerable natural and mineral resources, India continues to grapple with a variety of development challenges. Around 30% of the population lives in extreme poverty, 20% lacks proper housing, over 25% lacks access to electricity and about 70% lacks access to safe drinking water. To balance its economic objectives with climate change concerns, India aspires to enhance its Human Development Index (HDI) from 0.586 in 2015 to 0.9 in the future while limiting per capita energy consumption to 1.5 to 2 tonnes of oil equivalent per year (toe/year). This contrasts with developed countries, where high HDI levels are typically accompanied by per capita energy consumption levels of at least 2.5 to 3 toe/year.
Energy-related Challenges and Opportunities
An ambitious climate change mitigation policy is all the more important given India’s position as a regional power and global energy giant. Despite its economic and developmental challenges, India has consistently shown leadership in global efforts to limit climate change. While development gaps have caused absolute GHG emissions to rise, India’s per capita emissions remain among the lowest in the world. India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) is built around the ambitious target of reducing GHG emissions intensity by 33% to 35% by 2030 relative to 2005. To achieve this, an initial framework of domestic policies has been developed to facilitate the shift to a low-carbon energy system and ensure that development priorities are met. If this framework is to be implemented successfully, India will need to address the unsustainable use of fossil fuels, environmental degradation and externalities such as smog and air pollution (with their vast negative impacts on human health) as well as the financial challenges facing utilities and grid operators, and the (as yet) high cost of implementing this energy transition. Tapping into relevant co-benefits could help India to turn these challenges into opportunities.
COBENEFITS Council Members in India
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
Ministry of Power
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Health and Welfare
Ministry of Labour and Employment
COBENEFITS Focal Point in India
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is a New Delhi-based think tank dedicated to conducting research for the sustainable development of India and the Global South. TERI was established in 1974 as an information centre on energy issues. However, over the following decades, it made its mark as a research institute whose policy and technology solutions transformed people’s lives and the environment. TERI’s key focus lies in promoting clean energy, water management, pollution management, sustainable agriculture, and climate resilience.
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