Net zero target: Why 'sustainable economic growth' will elude India

Western reluctance to spend on climate action and India's inability to accelerate renewables to power faster economic growth are major hurdles to the net zero target

S Dinakar
Renewable energy

Solar and wind generation is spotty and intermittent, and not seen as reliable enough to power a $3-trillion economy

India is increasingly leaning towards fossil fuels to power its ambitious growth targets, preferring the burning embers of coal and diesel, to the stark power of the sun. This belated realisation has occurred after a slowdown in the pace of renewable generation, the war in Ukraine, and the fact that the path towards a $5-$10 trillion economy, envisaged at warp speed, is only possible with dirty fuels rather than clean energy.

This reality is reflected in India's oil demand forecast, released by the oil ministry this week. It shows demand for oil products growing at 5 per cent in fiscal 2023-24 to 234 million tonnes, perhaps one of the highest growth rates for oil use among large economies.  

Of course, the focus on green growth remains for the long term, and can be accelerated, if the Global North supplies funds and technology to the developing South, as discussions highlighted at the just concluded World Sustainable Develop

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First Published: Feb 24 2023 | 6:01 PM IST

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