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India’s Potential for Improvement to Mitigate Global Warming

A Critical Comparison of NDC and IPCC Outcomes

Essay 2019 12 Seiten


Table of Contents

Table of Figures

Table of Abbreviations

1. Introduction

2. The AIM and the SSP1

3. Review and Comparison of IPCC and NDC Outcomes

4. Discussion of NDC Policies and Policy Advice

5. Conclusion



Table of Figures

Table 1: Comparison of Outcomes

Table of Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


India faces a dilemma. Its prime minister promised access to electricity, education and health to all citizens (Carrington and Safi 2017). Meanwhile, it aims in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for a low carbon economy (Indian Government 2015, 14). The president of one of Asia’s most influential think tanks concludes if India won’t achieve the “Indian dream” on a climate friendly way, it will either destroy India or the planet (Carrington and Safi 2017). Since it is the most highly populated country in the world (17 % of the whole world population lives in India), the way it tackles climate change has a crucial impact globally (worldometers 2019).

2. The AIM and the SSP1

To assess policy options, it is substantial to see to which scenarios policies lead to. Integrated assessment models provide these future scenarios by combining knowledge from a variety of disciplines (AIM 2019).

The AIM is a large-scale computer simulation model which aims to assess policy options to stabilise the global climate and especially the climate in the Asian-Pacific region.1 To unfold its informative value, the AIM, like any other integrated assessment model, needs to be combined with a shared socioeconomic pathway (SSP) which assumes a certain socioeconomic narrative for the future.

The SSP1 is called “Taking the Green Road” since in this scenario, the global focus on economic growth eases while human well-being as a general goal is coming more important. Sustainability is taken more seriously and natural boundaries are respected. The commitment to achieve the development goals increases as well as the investments in education and health (Riahi et. al. 2017, 157).

3.Review and Comparison of IPCC and NDC Outcomes

The Scenario SSP1-19 in combination with the AIM model leads to a global warming in 2030 of 1.25°C and 1.09°C in 2100 compared to the preindustrial age (IIASA 2019). The following table illustrates the different outcomes of the IPCC and NDC.

Table 1: Comparison of Outcomes

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: See Appendix; IIASA 2019; Indian Government, 2015: “India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution: Working Towards Climate Justice”, p. 6, 10.

It demonstrates that the IPCC outcomes are more ambitious than the NDC outcomes. However, the Indian government plans to implement several policies to mitigate climate change. It aims for a clean and efficient energy system through employing a coal cess, cutting subsidies for coal and increasing taxes on petrol and diesel. Furthermore, it is running one of the largest renewable capacity expansion programs in the world. Additionally, it wants to achieve 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030. To realise this, India needs a transfer of technology and low-cost international funding (Ibid., 7, 9, 11, 29). To decrease its energy demand, it is building 100 low-carbon smart cities as well as a low carbon infrastructure and public transport systems (Ibid., 13, 14). It further aims to promote new agricultural technology to increase efficiency (Ibid., 20).

Although the Indian government emphasises the importance of sustainable growth (Ibid, 5-7), it is only stating growth will be achieved through employing new technologies (Ibid, 3-32) without explaining how. A reduction of the population is not mentioned in the NDC.

4.Discussion of NDC Policies and Policy Advice

India’s NDC addresses the need of a lower electricity demand and share of coal. Nevertheless, its goals and its tools are not ambitious enough to achieve the IPCC outcome. Due to the fact that agriculture is the source of livelihood for nearly two-thirds of the Indian population, changing agrarian technology is highly impactful (Ibid, 20). If poor people who use outdated and energy demanding tools like old tractors receive access to innovative low-carbon agrarian technology, it would have a dual impact. Through the increase in efficiency, their outcomes rise. Meanwhile, their energy demand decreases. Another tool which the government should enforce are public campaigns which raise awareness to save energy. Furthermore, the government could offer tax cuts for energy saving appliances. Until now, they are not part of the average Indian household (Paul 2016).

Instead of only reducing subsidies on fossil fuels (Indian government 2015, 37), they should be abandoned completely. Additionally, green finance instruments should be promoted more explicitly by the government. Regulatory restrictions allow insurance companies and pension funds to invest only in AAA-rated bonds (Nakhate 2018). This should change to increase the demand of green bonds and shift billions of dollars into green projects.

The birth rate among 15-19-year-old women is 134 percent higher in India than in the European Union (World Bank 2019). Sex education is not part of the school curriculum in most parts of India (Seervai 2015). Enforcing it, especially about prevention, can be the key to achieve a population in 2030 which is similar to the IPCC outcome.

To accelerate economic growth, India needs to provide more venture capital. The risk aversity of Indian investors leads to a lack of venture capital which forces entrepreneurs to emigrate. A rise of venture capital could lead to more innovations and jobs created in India (Bahree 2018). In order to attract high-skilled workforce, India needs to change its culture for example through mandatory educational work in schools and workplaces. Young couples cannot express their love publicly in many cities without being beaten or publicly humiliated which diminishes India’s attractivity especially for the younger demographic as well as the high amount of rapes also among children (India Today 2018; Burrows 2017; Gupta 2018). For raising a new generation of entrepreneurs who tackle the big variety of problems and accelerate growth through innovation, India needs to shift away from the narrative that only medicine, engineering, and law are honourable degrees (Sridhare 2014).

5. Conclusion

India is on track to reduce global warming. However, the above-mentioned approaches are means how India can reduce global warming even more.

The advice is conditional on emulating a certain scenario and therefore, only shows a few of a variety of approaches how India can mitigate global warming. It is also important to consider that India wants to achieve social goals as well which can lead to trade-offs with climate goals.


1 A more thorough explanation of the AIM is in the appendix.


ISBN (eBook)
Institution / Hochschule
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
2019 (April)
1,0 / 73
Climate Change Climate Risk India Paris Agreement



Titel: India’s Potential for Improvement to Mitigate Global Warming