Recently, a release of a report entitled “India: Transforming to Net Zero Emissions Energy System” was made by Shell and TERI, aka The Energy and Research Institute. Since then, Net Zero Emissions has been making headlines in India.
If we consider UPSC General Studies 3 Paper, Biodiversity and Environment is one of the focal areas. Hence, UPSC aspirants should focus on details and recent developments in net zero carbon emissions, as it is one of the recent events concerning biodiversity and the environment.
Therefore, it becomes an important topic when it comes to UPSC exams. So let’s look into the key points of the net zero carbon emissions from the UPSC perspective:
What is the Meaning of Net Emissions Reduce to Zero?
Net Zero carbon emissions are often mistaken as carbon neutrality. But the meaning of net emissions reduced to zero refers to creating a complete balance between the greenhouse gas released in the atmosphere and the greenhouse gas absorbed by the atmosphere.
In other words, it simply means that the emissions produced by several human activities must be decreased as close to zero. Curation of carbon sinks like Reforestation should be encouraged to enhance the absorption of various greenhouse gases and carbon emissions.
In this way, any country can take its first step towards becoming a country with negative emissions. But to achieve this goal, the county’s absorption or elimination of harmful gases should surpass the original emissions.
Is Net Zero Emissions Possible?
Yes, it is possible. Although, it is going to be a rollercoaster ride to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions. If we talk peculiarly about India, it needs apt policies along with result-driven and inventive solutions to expand clean energy technologies on a large scale.
To attain the zero-emissions goals, India requires to increase renewable resources up to 90%. The power plants that are dependent on coal for energy should be entirely dismissed till 2050. Introducing CCS, aka Carbon Capture and Storage can revamp entire India’s energy-saving systems. Hence, one can say that attaining Net Zero emissions by 2050 is although challenging but is possible.
The positive side of this is that the technology to reach Net Zero carbon emissions does exist. The best part about this is it is affordable. An essential factor in lowering emissions, including clean energy, is substituting coal power plants and stations depending on fossil fuels with renewable energy resources. This would drastically decrease carbon emissions.
How to Achieve Net Zero Emissions?
According to the TERI, these steps must be followed to achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions:
Concentrate on Energy Effectivity
To develop a nation towards Net Zero carbon emissions, the country should possess energy-efficient constructions, lighting, devices. It must also include manufacturing and industrial solutions that are based on renewable energy sources.
Usage of Biofuels
Using Biofuels can aid the decrease of carbon emissions from several on-road vehicles. In vehicles like airplanes or helicopters, the solitary effective solution for overcoming emissions is using biofuels until and unless hydrogen technologies appear on a massive scale.
Carbon sinks are one of the best options to isolate carbon. Therefore reforestation should be reinforced to increase the absorption of carbon emissions. Trees can absorb most of the carbon and isolate it through photosynthesis. For the absorption of the remaining carbon emission introduction of CCS is a must.
Pricing for Carbon Emissions
India already imposes taxes on petroleum fuels as well as coal. It should contemplate imposing a tax on the industries or the individuals responsible for the carbon emissions.
Expanding Renewable Energy Resources h
The four principal types of renewable energy resources are nuclear power, sun, water, and wind. These are renewable resources, meaning they are safe and apt for climatic conditions. The Net Zero emissions by 2030 can be considerably reduced if we introduce and expand renewable energy resources to a larger extent.
Expanding Renewable Energy Resources can aid in tackling both national and worldwide climatic hurdles. This will also simultaneously develop the financial prosperity of Indians.
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What is the Global Scenario with regards to Net Zero Carbon Emissions?
Till June 2020, over 20 nations and regions have started running a marathon with the goal of Net Zero carbon emission, within which Bhutan stands to be carbon negative. This indicates that Bhutan absorbs carbon and other greenhouse gases more than it releases.
What is India’s Condition Concerning the Net Zero Carbon Emissions?
India happens to be the world’s third-largest CO2 emitter. This calls for faster actions to reverse these effects in India. India is currently under tremendous global pressure to attain Net Zero Carbon Emission goals. As India is a developing nation, it is constantly increasing carbon emissions in the view of better development. Deployment of sustainable development is the need of the hour in India.
Nevertheless, it has been continuously striving to bring about sustainable development. It is already about to achieve the three targets mentioned in the Paris Agreement.
Necessary actions must be specifically taken along with the policies for climate relief in the government funds, including power, streets, highways, health care, and education. Precisely, the Net Zero carbon emissions targets must incorporate timelines for shifting to sustainable energy.
India requires to launch several significant operations to gather climate investments and concentrate on energy effectiveness, the value of including biofuels, carbon isolation as well as pricing on carbon. Powerful environmental strategies can result in accomplishment and welfare. With extravagant strategies, potent organizations, and global investments, India can bloom into a Net Zero carbon emission country without any second thought.
So these were some of the important Net Zero carbon emissions UPSC aspects. If you consider all these perspectives with the right amount of concentration, you can crack the GS 3 paper in UPSC Prelims without a doubt.
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