What should India do?


Enhance its NDC to be 1.5 degree aligned by COP26:

  • Reduction of emissions intensity of GDP by 48 to 54% below 2005 levels by 2030
  • 60% non-fossil fuel installed capacity by 2030
  • Formulate an ambitious carbon-neutral long-term strategy by COP26, aiming for net-zero in second half of the century.
  • Decarbonization roadmaps for heavy industry sectors will be crucial to avoid lock-in to high emitting technologies
  • Commit to an EV transition timeline ahead of COP26, leading to an increase from the current target of 30% of new sales by 2030 – see here
  • Commit to no further expansion into greenfield coal, recognising the importance of a just transition for the coal sector
  • Increase in sub-national action, in the form of ambitious state action plans, city-level commitments and corporate engagement e.g. SBTs

Build a just and resilient recovery plan:

  • Encourage greater sign-up of businesses to support green recovery measures
  • Focus on expanding renewable, electric vehicle, hydrogen, sustainable construction industries with the potential to deliver long-term growth
  • No expansion of greenfield coal mines or coal plants

What you need to know about India?

  • India’s current NDCs : Reduce emissions intensity of GDP 33-35% on 2005 levels; 40% non-fossil fuel electric installed capacity; add 2.5-3 GtCO2e carbon sinks
  • RE targets: 175GW RE installed capacity by 2022. The CEA projects 300 GW solar and 140 GW wind by 2030, and 64% share of NFF by 2030. A TERI scenario projects 45% zero carbon generation by 2030, with no new coal capacity after 2022
  • CEEW projects a reduction of emissions intensity of GDP of 48%-54% by 2030 relative to 2005 across 200+ scenarios
  • The Government aims for 30% EVs by 2030, and recently announced USD 1.44 bn for 3 years for EVs under FAME II
  • Since the last announcement made by the Finance Minister (in 2019), India is likely to announce an NDC Revision in 2023. India had committed to producing a long-term strategy due to be published in 2020; this was delayed due to COVID-19 and now looks set to be published early in 2021
Recovery Measures to Highlight

  • India has passed a USD266bn stimulus package so far. Initial measures have largely focused on support for healthcare and welfare. Subsequently, fiscal measures have included the agricultural sectors and businesses

Recent developments, threats and levers for action

Recent developments

  • Under green recovery, economic stimulus first needs to support improving healthcare and reducing health-related impacts, which can include air pollution through emission regulations and cycling / walking. Return of ‘pollution seasonacross Northern India is an important reminder to prioritise the actions
  • Green stimulus should focus on supporting emerging industries which have the potential to deliver long-term growth, such as renewables, EVs, hydrogen, bioenergy, sustainable construction, etc
  • India’s leadership of key international coalitions e.g. International Solar Alliance (ISA), Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT)
  • The case for RE to be built around energy access and energy security (two top national priorities). This will depend partly on successful electricity market reforms and deployment of flexibility technologies. With large increase in demand for air cooling, improving EE and phasing out HFCs will be key
  • Key targets – 175GW renewables by 2022 and 450GW by 2030. Also targeting 30% EVs by 2030 and recently announced $1.4bn worth of support for EVs over 3 years (FAME II)
  • Ensuring a just transition is paramount, principally in coal and agriculture
  • Material demand and industrial energy consumption growth will be the major drivers of emissions in India out to 2050. Decarbonization roadmaps for heavy industry sectors will be crucial to try and avoid lock-in to high emitting technologies and understanding stranded asset risk for plants being built now
  • State-level action plans are currently being revised, opportunity for organizations to build capacity at sub-national level to help deliver a prosperous transition that is sensitive to local issues


  • Successful implementation & likely overachievement of current NDC.
  • Progress on RE, EE, EVs, cooling
  • Likely to submit LTS by COP26
  • RE success is widely accepted


  • Influence recovery conversations to scale-up renewable investments as a key step to improve energy access and energy security (the two top national priorities)
  • State-level climate action plans being revised are an opportunity for more ambition from states, city-level commitments and corporate engagement e.g. science-based targets
  • Expand on geopolitical and energy security benefits of renewable energies to help accelerate action
  • Leverage India’s leadership of key international coalitions to encourage ambition throughout upcoming 2021 multilateral events


  • Severe, long-term impacts of COVID-19
  • Air pollution and waste issues inability to deal with complex inter-state issues


  • Dirty recovery from COVID-19
  • Lasting economic damage from COVID-19
  • Geopolitical tensions diverting attention away from climate change e.g. China

About Climate Diplomacy Snapshots

The data is clear. Accelerated and enhanced action is needed now to build resilience and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. As they seek to address the ongoing health, economic and social impacts of COVID-19, governments should seize opportunities to invest in a recovery that will build social, economic and climate resilience on the long-term.The Climate Diplomacy Snapshots aim to provide the climate community with a clear overview of what each country should do, on climate and recovery, to pursue these joint objectives and keep the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C. Each has been prepared with the help of national experts, and will be regularly updated. The snapshots aim to support climate advocacy in the lead up to COP26.

Check other Snapshots