India is set to finally submit official plans to cut emissions to the United Nations, as one of the world's largest polluters backs away from a threat to withhold more climate commitments until rich nations provide more funds for poorer countries.
The South Asian country is preparing to put forward the document — an obligation under the Paris Agreement — in September, according to people with knowledge of the matter, just weeks before crucial COP27 climate talks in Egypt. The official commitment would come close to a year after countries were told to submit updated targets by the UN before last November’s summit in Glasgow.
India’s delay has been striking given Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s surprise announcement at COP26 that his country would reach net-zero emissions by 2070. In the short term, he said the country would build enough carbon-free electricity generation capacity to reach 500 gigawatts by the end of the decade.
But Modi has also said that further ambition from India depends on financial help from rich countries. In Glasgow, he argued that India alone should get $1 trillion in climate funding out to 2030. The country will need to spend more than $12 trillion by 2060 to put it on track to reach net-zero emissions, according to Standard Chartered Plc. Modi’s demands are unlikely to be met. Rich nations have said that they will only be able to meet a 2020 goal to provide $100 billion a year in climate finance to poorer countries in 2023.