New Delhi [India], October 12 (ANI): India is at the forefront of making serious efforts towards achieving climate change targets, said Dr Shailja Vaidya Gupta, former Senior Adviser at the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government, Adviser Department of Biotechnology and added that though the country's solar programme has been successful there is a need to set up manufacturing units of solar panels and reduce the dependency on China.
"India has been one of the major countries that have really made very serious efforts to meet the emission target it has proposed. We are successfully moving to alternate resources other than fossil fuels. Our solar programme has been successful. Now, it is challenged by the fact that there is a need to manufacture solar panels/cells in the country and reduce our dependence on solar imports especially from China" said Dr Gupta in an interview with ANI.
Speaking about the need to ramp up the manufacturing of solar panels and cells, she stated that China recently increased, opportunistically, its prices of solar panels and cells.
At the same time, she highlighted that the goals of the country towards net zero carbon emissions are practical and achievable.
"The efforts of the government over a period of time have been effective in finding alternatives to fossil fuel. We will be meeting net-zero carbon emission," she said.
Ahead of the Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), India is on track to achieve the goals of renewable energy enshrined in the Paris Agreement and it has been well noted by other countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 21st session of United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris in 2015 had announced an International Solar Alliance (ISA) to dedicate efforts for the promotion of solar energy. ISA is an alliance of over 120 countries initiated by India, most of them being sunshine countries which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
Noting some developments towards switching to electric vehicles, Dr Gupta said that the market is booming and there has been a positive change in the direction with the help of the government and market forces.
Speaking about the establishment of charging ports for electric vehicles she said, "The charging ports will come up when there is a commercial pull for it. They are bound to come up even in small towns and villages." This will support short distance city commute.
Recently, the world's highest electric vehicle charging station was inaugurated in Kaza of Lahaul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh which reiterates India's efforts towards promoting electric vehicles.
As several countries gear up to uphold climate change commitments, she said that it is important for developed nations to take responsibility for the impact that they create on the environment.
"The developed world has set standards for a consumptive lifestyle, using most of the world's natural resources. However, this needs to change. They need to change their lifestyle and consumptive patterns. They use more than they need," said Dr Gupta.
She added that the other nations are being depleted of their resources as the developed nations continue to live a "consumptive" life.
"Even something as simple as disposable tissue paper, there are so many resources that have gone into it. There's water, energy, transportation, and a whole lot of natural resources," she said.
Throwing light on India's traditional practice of reusing and recycling, Dr Gupta said, "I have grown up watching my mother sell old, discarded items to ragpickers. It has been in our culture to reduce, reuse and recycle, and can be implemented sensibly and the practice can still be "cool"" (ANI)