More and more attention has started to shift towards India in the climate conversation and that’s because it’s now the most populous country on earth with 1.4 billion people (or it soon will be), and it’s economy is built on the back of coal.
India is in the middle of the biggest climate experiment the world has ever known, and it has massive challenges ahead, which could undermine global climate targets if it continues to grow with fossil fuels as the backbone of its energy supply.
On top of that, India, as a country, is facing some of the greatest dangers from climate change (check out the heat waves already this year), and if it keeps growing as it is, we’ll see escalation off the charts and the devastating human cost that will come with it.
The massive challenge for India is to move away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible, but the targets set for India to follow, have been set by industrialized nations that benefitted from unfettered energy development, and these limits could significantly cut the growth India is focused on, which is to increase economic prosperity for its citizens. A double bind.
As a lower-middle income country, to meet the needs of its citizens – housing, water, energy, mobility, nutrition — how can it succeed, when no country has ever met these goals without also releasing greenhouse gas emissions, without using fossil fuels?
India is already the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States, and its demand for energy is expected to grow faster than any other country over the next two decades. By 2040, it will need to add a power system that’s the equivalent of the European Union, and because of its size, if it’s energy is based on coal, it will guarantee a hot house earth for all.
What can we do? The only possible solution is the world’s wealthiest people and countries must invest in moving India forward and help develop it into a sustainable energy superpower ASAP. If we don’t, well, we can’t afford to go there.
Keep an eye on this story. We ignored China’s growth and emissions, which is why the escalation in the last decade has been so rapid, so if India grows in the same way as China did, we are literally toast.
And here’s the content I’ve been reading or watching this last week. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read or watch them all. Knowledge is power, and global knowledge is even more powerful.
Antonio Turiel: “Deep Challenges: Oceans, Scarcity and Culture” | The Great Simplification #65
Resources for those struggling with eco-anxiety. Please share with your community.
Finally, more than 100 mini-videos on many topics regarding the multiple crisis’ we face. Feel free to download and use as your own. No credit necessary.
Uncommon Courage: an invitation – my latest book
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