In a significant address via video link at the G20 Energy Ministers’ Meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized India’s strong leadership in climate action. He highlighted the country’s dedication to its climate commitments through remarkable efforts in green growth and energy transition. India’s ambitious plans include achieving 50 percent of its installed electricity power capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy sources by the year 2030.
India, as the most populous nation and one of the fastest-growing large economies, has made commendable progress in fulfilling its climate commitments. Surpassing expectations, India reached its non-fossil installed electricity capacity target nine years ahead of schedule. However, the country is not resting on its laurels and has set an even higher aim of reaching 50 percent non-fossil electricity by 2030. As a global leader in solar and wind power, India sets an example for others to follow.
Prime Minister Modi acknowledged that the world looks up to the G20 group to lead the way in advanced, sustainable, affordable, inclusive, and clean energy transition. While striving towards these goals, he emphasized the importance of ensuring that developing countries in the global south are not left behind. One of the crucial aspects in achieving this objective is to ensure low-cost finance for these nations, bridging technology gaps, promoting energy security, and diversifying supply chains.
Transnational grids and interconnections play a pivotal role in enhancing energy security. India is actively promoting mutually-beneficial cooperation with its neighboring countries in this region, which has already shown promising results. Prime Minister Modi underscored the transformative potential of realizing interconnected green grids. Such a vision not only helps in meeting climate goals but also stimulates green investment and creates millions of green jobs.
Energy is fundamental to development at all levels, from individuals to nations. Recognizing this, Prime Minister Modi asserted that no discussion about the future sustainability of growth and development can be complete without addressing energy concerns. Each country may have different realities and pathways for energy transition, but the common goal is to achieve sustainable and equitable growth.
India’s commitment to inclusive and sustainable energy practices is evident through various initiatives. Over the last nine years, 190 million families in India received LPG connections, marking a significant step towards improving living conditions and reducing dependence on traditional fuels. Additionally, India has achieved a historic milestone by connecting every village with electricity, and the government is actively working to provide piped cooking gas to a vast majority of the population in the coming years.
Small steps taken in the right direction can lead to significant results. For instance, in 2015, India launched a scheme for the use of LED lights, which became the largest LED distribution program globally, saving a substantial amount of energy annually. Furthermore, India has embarked on the largest agriculture pump solarization initiative in the world, showcasing the country’s dedication to clean and sustainable energy practices.
Addressing the need to decarbonize the country, India is vigorously pursuing the adoption of green hydrogen as a viable alternative. The government’s mission is to make India a global hub for the production, usage, and export of green hydrogen and its derivatives. By embracing green hydrogen technologies, India aims to reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner and greener planet.
Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to the delegates to join the ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’ initiative of the International Solar Alliance. This ambitious project aims to harness solar energy across the globe and create a unified, sustainable energy grid for the benefit of all nations.
In his concluding remarks, Prime Minister Modi emphasized that caring for the environment is both natural and cultural. India cherishes its traditional wisdom that values a lifestyle in harmony with the environment. He urged everyone to become climate champions by adopting eco-friendly practices and preserving the Earth for future generations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at the G20 Energy Ministers’ Meeting showcased India’s strong leadership in climate action and its determination to achieve ambitious energy transition goals. By spearheading green growth initiatives and emphasizing inclusivity and sustainability, India sets a compelling example for the world to follow in the journey towards a greener, more resilient future.