Cities need to take the lead in the transition to a low-carbon economy, particularly in emerging economies in Asia, according to vice president of India M Venkaiah Naidu.
Urban centers account for two-thirds of global energy demand and 70% of carbon emissions and urbanization is expected to reach 67% globally by 2050. “It is extremely crucial to link every aspect of urbanization with sustainability by making solutions such as harvesting solar energy an essential part of town planning,” said Naidu, addressing the 4th Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific (RCAP) Congress 2019, organized by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI).
Global warming: alarm bells ringing
In remarks reported by the Press Information Bureau of India, Naidu said: “Global warming is likely to reach 1.5C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate. Globally, if we continue with our current development trajectory, we are certain to breach the 1.5C mark in the coming 30 years.
“This increase in global temperature is likely to result in an increase in mean temperature over most land and ocean regions, hot extremes in most inhabited regions, heavy precipitation in several regions and the probability of drought and precipitation deficits in some regions. Future climate-related risks can be reduced by upscaling climate mitigation measures.”
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% before 2030 – as demanded by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – is achievable if countries increase the share of renewables in their energy mix, improve energy efficiency and decarbonize sectors including transport and heating and cooling.
India on target
Stressing climate change is the most important challenge confronting all nations, Naidu said India is now one of the global leaders in addressing the challenge head-on. “As recently announced at the 24th Conference of Parties on Climate Change, in Katowice, Poland, our country is well on its way to achieve our stated Nationally Determined Contributions,” he said.
India had set an ambitious target of deploying 175 GW of renewable power capacity by 2022 and doubled down on that ambition last year. “This target is now further raised to 227 GW of renewable energy capacity, considering that we are well on our way to exceeding the previously set target,” added the vice president.
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