What it would take for India to achieve net-zero emissions

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Based on the current trajectory India is on, by 2050, one in every four people impacted by climate events globally could be based in the country. That is a significant risk India has to address and invest in now to avoid that outcome.

While it is challenging, we are confident India can achieve its net-zero goal. Per McKinsey analysis, 90 percent of India’s net-zero target could be achieved from just seven levers. Of those seven, four require scaling of already-available technology.

Use of renewable energy, increased penetration of electric vehicles (EVs), improvement in land use, agriculture, and forestry are the four levers we know we have the technology. Then it becomes a question of application and the capital availability to make it happen. Other levers require adaptation and development of new technologies, like hydrogen use, carbon capture and utilization, or improvements in recycling. Apart from technology, significant capital infusion is required, and India would also need to reskill its talent base to cater to the new green economy.

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As one of the few large countries that has delivered on its prior commitments to the Paris Agreement, India is a rare beacon in the world. As the country’s economy grows and builds out another two Indias in the next 30 years—in terms of infrastructure and asset base—India has an unprecedented opportunity to lay down the net-zero path for the world to follow.

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