Last week, India—the world’s third largest emitter of carbon dioxide—announced it is preparing to submit official plans to the United Nations with updated emissions targets in September (Straits Times). This obligation under the Paris Agreement was supposed to be fulfilled before last November’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). India previously threatened to withhold its climate commitment until rich nations provided more financial help to poor countries. The nation’s delay in submitting the document has also been attributed to inter-ministerial negotiations over its climate plan (Bloomberg). 

During the COP26 conference last November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India would aim to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070—a target that has drawn criticism for being under-ambitious (Straits Times). In the short term, the nation plans to build sufficient infrastructure to attain 500 gigawatts of carbon-free electricity generation by 2030. While the country’s approach to climate action has drawn criticism abroad, India’s Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav has defended its record, saying India is one of the only nations that has met the targets it set out as part of the first nationally determined contribution in 2015 (Government of India). India’s submission is scheduled just weeks before the COP27 climate talks in Egypt in November, the focus of which will be on implementing existing emissions targets (Euronews).