EMERGING AS FRONT RUNNER

India being fully committed to the issue of climate change as per its own values and requirements after US announced its decision to pull out of the landmark Paris agreement, the World’s largest democracy is all set to emerge as the front runner in global fight against climate change. US position on climate change after Trump’s take over as President remains different from that of other countries as it wants inclusion of fossil fuel while India’s major focus is on solar energy. At the G20 Summit the other day India made its stand crystal clear that it believes in exclusive use of clean fuels and has set the same as its aim knowing very well that India would need more time to process completely to clean fuel. India as such stresses upon the need to focus on International Solar Alliance (ISA) and other methods of renewable energy. Given the global situation existing today India is undoubtedly emerging as a front runner in the global fight against climate change a fact acknowledged even by the World Bank. In India solar power is gradually displacing coal as an energy source. At the official level Indian government continues its unflinching as well as sweeping commitment to solar power, innovative solutions and energy efficiency initiatives to supply its people with 24×7 electricity by the year 2030. India with its conscious choice to use significantly more clean energy to fuel its growth, is today vigorously contributing to global efforts to save the planet from the effects of climate change. In this context it would not be out of place to mention that just a few weeks ago, the country also walked away from plans to install nearly 14 GW of coal-fired power plants, mainly because it is as affordable now to generate electricity with solar power as it is to use fossil fuels. India’s efforts on this front have been widely acclaimed especially at the just concluded G20 Summit. The world needs to acknowledge that not only in India but in nations across the globe solar power is the best solution. Though there was a time when solar power was highly expensive and unaffordable for maximum nations but as of today the cost of electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) is a quarter of what it was in 2009 and is set to fall another 66 per cent by 2040. With nearly 300 days of sunshine every year, India has among the best conditions in the world to capture and use solar energy. This is further substantiated by a report that there has been a significant drop in the cost of solar power in India. In its latest solar auction, the country achieved a record low tariff of INR 2.44/unit (4 cents/unit) for a project in the desert state of Rajasthan. The Indian government is setting ambitious targets including the 160 GigaWatts (GW) of wind and solar power by 2022 which will not help millions of Indians light their homes but would also ensure that they enjoy the facilities of electrical gadgets that once used to be luxuries and are presently necessities. A great added advantage of focussing on Solar power will be that it will be an incentive for international firms that would get attracted towards investing heavily in the India’s solar market. It is a fact that the Indian PM continues to rake up the issue of climate change at all available global fora vociferously highlighting his concern for the underdeveloped and developing world. He rightly emphasized that solutions to such problems can be found in Mahatma Gandhi’s life and ideals. Gandhi believed in simple living and high thinking and following this path can undoubtedly go a long way in recouping from the enormous environmental degradation by the human beings themselves not only endangering their own life and future but that of the whole flora and fauna. With PM’s relentless efforts at the international level to address the issue of Climate Change India is not only set to be the front runner in this campaign but is also going to be the largest beneficiary.