India’s Parliament passes Energy Conservation Act

BENGALURU, India (AP) – On the heels of completing its updated climate goalsThe Indian government took another step towards its climate goals by passing changes to a 21-year-old energy conservation law, making it easier to put a price on carbon emissions and encouraging the use of non-fossil fuel sources to generate power across the country .

The bill sets a minimum requirement for the use of renewable energy for businesses and residential buildings. It also provides clean energy users with carbon-saving certificates that can be sold or traded, and sets a new energy efficiency standard for homes, which account for 24% of India’s electricity use.

There are also penalties for companies that do not use a sufficient amount of renewable energy sources to run their operations.

The bill is “a positive step” towards India’s climate goals, said Madhura Joshi, India’s energy transitions lead at E3G, a climate change think tank.

“The share of clean energy sources powering India’s industries and homes will definitely increase as a result of this bill,” he said.

Last week, India committed to reducing emissions caused by activities for the country’s economic growth by 45% by 2030 from 2005 levels. The country also plans to get half of its energy needs from non-fossil fuel-based energy sources by 2030, promoting a federal government program encouraging people to make green lifestyle changes.

“Every unit of energy saved or conserved is critical to reducing emissions,” said Bharath Jairaj who heads the World Resources Institute’s India Energy Program. Including large residential buildings in building regulations that require energy conservation is an important highlight of the bill and reducing emissions, he said.

Scientists say it is important to cut greenhouse gases to limit the effects of climate change, which has already led to warmer weather and several devastating floods to India.

The bill is also the first time the Indian government has proposed a carbon trading system. Unlike in a few other parts of the world, the so-called carbon market is still a new idea in India, Jairaj said.

“(It is) bound to become an important tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in India,” he added.


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