At last November's COP26 in Glasgow, India set a target date of 2070 to achieve net zero (compared to 2050 for advanced economies and 2060 for China).

Also, India changed the wording of its pledge with respect to coal - from "phasing out" to "phasing down." These were far-reaching decisions, seen as a dilution of the government's commitment towards climate change. In this blog I delve deep to understand some background and, importantly, discuss how the country plans to deliver its global greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction commitments.

From 1751 to 2017, the cumulative contribution of the country to total atmospheric GHGs has stood at 3%. Today, India's per capita emission stands at 1.92 tons, compared to the 4.48 tons average for the Asian continent, and less than half of the pre-COVID global average.

This can be largely attributed to the fact that the country's GNI per capital of $1,902 that gives it a lower middle-income nation designation. India has the distinction of being the world's fastest-growing large economy.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 4, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.