According to global forecasting firm Oxford Economics, India's new climate goals will be difficult to achieve without significantly compromising the country's stated economic targets or its ambition to become a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25, as stated by PM Modi in 2019. Though India's pledge to achieve "net-zero" emissions by 2070 is admirable, the path announced by PM Modi towards achieving that is ambitious and financing the transition would be a big challenge, they observed.
"We think the new climate goals will be difficult to achieve without significantly compromising India's stated economic targets and its ambition to become a $5 trillion economy by 2024/25. Indeed, it may not even be possible," Oxford Economics said.
Modi envisioned making India a $5 trillion economy and global powerhouse by 2024-25. Last month, the PM announced a bold pledge that India will achieve net-zero emissions (meaning, would not add more emissions to the atmosphere) by 2070. He further claimed that India is the only country fulfilling the commitments on tackling climate change under the Paris agreement in "letter and spirit".
"Studies peg the investment bill at around $200 billion per year in 2020s and 2030s for India to become net-zero by 2070. The spending requirements increase progressively as the low-cost technologies are exhausted," Oxford Economics said.
The firm further predicted that the country would be relying on private investment to fill the gap between its domestic resources and requirements as developed economy funding is likely to disappoint, "The bleak track record of foreign investment in infrastructure projects doesn't augur well in this regard," it said.
"We think India's net-zero timeline will need to be revisited. We maintain our baseline view of India's carbon emissions beginning to peak in the late 2040s," the firm suggested. Furthermore, India's de-carbonisation plan suffers from a low emphasis on carbon removal strategies, they added.