Decarbonisation Explained

What you need to know

Decarbonisation is the process of reducing or eliminating carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from various sectors, primarily in the energy and industrial sectors. It is a critical strategy in the fight against climate change as it aims to mitigate the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment and global warming. Decarbonisation involves transitioning away from fossil fuels and high-emission practices towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources and technologies.

The push for decarbonisation has gained significant momentum in recent years as the effects of climate change become more evident and the need for urgent action becomes apparent. This is the effort put in by the entire ecosystem that includes the Government, NGO’s, consultants, industrial market research firms, and societies. These together worldwide are increasingly recognizing the importance of reducing carbon emissions to achieve environmental sustainability and meet international climate goals, such as those outlined in the Paris Agreement.

Why is decarbonising important?
Decarbonising is important for several critical reasons, all of which revolve around the need to address the escalating challenges posed by climate change and its wide-ranging impacts on the environment, society, and the global economy. Here are some key reasons why decarbonising is essential :

  • Mitigating Climate Change
  • Preserving Ecosystems and Biodiversity
  • Ensuring Resource Availability
  • Improving Air Quality and Public Health
  • Enhancing Energy Security
  • Creating Green Jobs and Economic Opportunities
  • Meeting International Climate Commitments
  • Addressing Social and Environmental Justice
  • Minimizing the Risk of Catastrophic Events
  • Preserving a Livable Planet for Future Generations


Opportunities for Industries

Incorporating decarbonisation into business strategies can lead to a range of positive outcomes, including financial savings, improved operational efficiency, innovation, and a positive impact on the environment. Each industry’s opportunities will vary based on its specific circumstances and operations.

The following sectors including Energy and Land use act as a direct source of global emissions and have potential/opportunities

India’s Statistics

India, which contributed about 2% of all emissions in 2015 as opposed to the United States
‘ 15%, is the fourth-largest emitter of CO2 after China, the United States, and the European Union.

The revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of India includes a citizen-centric strategy for addressing climate change, which includes lifestyle modification.

In 2021, China, the United States, the EU27, India, Russia and Japan remained the world’ s largest CO2 emitters. Together they account for 49.2% of global population, 62.4% of global Gross Domestic Product, 66.4% of global fossil fuel consumption and 67.8% of global fossil CO2 emissions. All six increased their fossil CO2 emissions in 2021 compared to 2020, with India and Russia having the largest increases in relative terms (10.5% and 8.1%, respectively).


The reduction of Carbon dioxide emissions or Decarbonisation can be achieved with a focus on three important areas :-

  • Increasing renewable energy capacity,
  • Decarbonising emission-intensive sectors such as transportation, power generation, building/infrastructure sector, cement and construction sector
  • Creating more carbon sinks.

Government Initiatives

India announced a highly ambitious goal of decarbonizing energy to 50% and achieving 500 GW of fossil fuel-free generating capacity by 2030. India also pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2070 – an important benchmark in the fight against climate change.The Indian government has launched several initiatives and policies aimed at decarbonisation and addressing climate change. These initiatives span various sectors and emphasize the adoption of renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and more. Here are some key government initiatives in India for decarbonisation

  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC): NAPCC outlines India’s comprehensive
    strategy for addressing climate change. It includes eight national missions that focus on areas such as solar energy, energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture, water conservation, and more.
  • Renewable Energy Initiatives: The government has set ambitious targets for renewable energy
    capacity, including the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission and the Wind Energy Mission. These initiatives promote the deployment of solar and wind energy projects by across the country.
  • Perform, Achieve, and Trade (PAT) Scheme: Under this scheme, energy-intensive
    industries are assigned energy consumption reduction targets. Industries that exceed their targets earn Energy Savings Certificates, which can be traded in a market-based mechanism.
  • Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) Scheme: FAME promotes the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles by offering incentives to manufacturers and buyers. The scheme aims to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector enabled by studies conducted by Market research for EVs and its ecosystem.
  • Smart Cities Mission: The mission encourages the development of sustainable and energy-efficient cities through the adoption of green technologies, smart infrastructure, and efficient urban planning.
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: This initiative aims to provide clean cooking fuel to households below the poverty line, reducing reliance on traditional biomass and mitigating indoor air pollution
  • International Solar Alliance (ISA): India co-founded ISA to promote solar energy adoption and facilitate cooperation among solar-rich countries.
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT): AMRUT focuses on improving urban infrastructure, including water supply, sewage, and solid waste management, to enhance the quality of life and promote sustainability
  • National Clean Air Programme (NCAP): NCAP aims to improve air quality in Indian cities through a multi-sectoral approach, including actions to reduce emissions from various sources.
  • Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF): This agricultural practice promotes organic farming
    techniques that reduce carbon emissions and enhance soil health.
  • Green India Mission (GIM): GIM focuses on afforestation, reforestation, and forest conservation to enhance carbon sequestration and biodiversity.
  • Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC): ECBC sets energy efficiency standards for commercial buildings to reduce energy consumption and associated emissions.
  • National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP): NEMMP aims to achieve national fuel security and promote electric mobility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Make in India for Renewable Energy Sector: The “Make in India” initiative encourages domestic manufacturing of renewable energy components to support the growth of the sector.

India is a significant developing economy with a population of over 1.3 billion, thus its objectives for climate adaptation and mitigation are transformative not just for India but for the entire world. In order to help India develop, industrialise, and improve the quality of life for its people without having to carbonise, NITI Aayog and the IEA have agreed to working together


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