India is considering setting up trading programs to curb its emissions of greenhouse gases and particulate matter, an environment ministry official said, as the nation tackles deadly air pollution that’s choking its cities.
The ministry expects the private sector to participate in the initiative, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, its number two bureaucrat. India is also keen to benefit from an international carbon trading mechanism that’s being negotiated, Prasad said at an online event on Thursday, where 24 private companies, including Reliance Industries Ltd., Vedanta Ltd. and JSW Steel Ltd. pledged their support for the government’s climate commitments.
India is one of only a handful of large economies that have yet to set a target for achieving net-zero carbon emissions after Asian neighbors including China, Japan and South Korea made public pledges over the last two months. The country already has a trading scheme in place to increase energy efficiency across the fossil fuel industry, which could provide some of the infrastructure needed to get an emissions-trading system up and running and boost compliance.
Environment minister Prakash Javadekar at the same event urged developed nations to provide India with affordable climate change mitigation technology, arguing that the costs involved in fighting global warming would hinder the country’s efforts to meet its emission goals.
India is doing well on all parameters of the Paris Agreement, he said, citing its expansion of renewable energy, large-scale afforestation initiatives and measures to curb vehicle emissions.