The availability of adequate and affordable finance remains a constraint to India’s climate actions, the Economic Survey for FY23 said, while highlighting the need for mobilising timely and adequate funds for the purpose. Expectations of further large-scale climate measures will have to be met by greater support from developed countries in terms of finance and technology, it further said.
“Even if India has so far undertaken climate actions on its own, the heightened expectations of further large-scale climate measures have to be equated with the enhanced initiatives by developed countries in terms of providing means of implementation, including finance, technology transfer, and capacity-building support,” said the Survey tabled in Parliament by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday.
Stressing that finance is a critical input for climate actions, the Survey noted that India’s climate ambitions would require resources over and above what is needed to meet the development goals. “Obligations on climate should be matched with the on-time availability of climate finance, technology, and inputs like critical minerals, while not jeopardising the socio-economic development objectives and aspirations,” it said.
Despite the adverse impacts of Covid-19 on the economy, the country has enhanced its climate ambition manifold. India has committed itself to achieving net-zero emissions by 2070, which will require a large amount of funds that would run into trillions of dollars. The understanding in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement has been that the developed countries will mobilise the resources through public and other sources. The Survey said these are, however, yet to mobilise and the country has also scaled up efforts towards mobilising private capital, including through sovereign green bonds, to meet its climate action goals.
Announced in the Union Budget 2022-23, the Reserve Bank of India recently auctioned maiden sovereign green bonds of `8,000 crore. An auction of a similar amount is expected on February 9, which would take the total issuance of such bonds to `16,000 crore this fiscal. These bonds are expected to help the government to tap the requisite finance from potential investors for deployment in public sector projects, aimed at reducing the carbon intensity of the economy.
“The issuance of Sovereign Green Bonds would help in creating an ecosystem which fosters a greater flow of capital into green projects and entities undertaking such projects,” the Survey said.
India has already been making significant progress in meeting its climate goals. The target to achieve 40% of the installed electric capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 in the initial Nationally Determined Contribution submitted in 2015 has already been achieved. India is now striving to achieve the target of 50% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030, in line with updated NDCs.
The Survey also called upon advanced countries to set examples of policy and behavioural changes that work for them and whose trade-offs are well recognised and accepted by their people, in order to help further the global climate agenda.