India sets 2070 as target for net-zero carbon emissions

Narendra Modi.
(Image credit: Alastair Grant/AFP via Getty Images)

India has now set a deadline for when it will reach net zero emissions: the year 2070.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement Monday during the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, less than a week after the country declined to set a target date. The United States, China, and India are the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, and during his speech at the summit, Modi pointed out that India has 17 percent of the planet's population but is responsible for 5 percent of global emissions.

Scientists say the world needs to cut global emissions in half by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 in order to avert catastrophic climate events, Reuters reports. The U.S., Britain, and European Union have set 2050 as their target date to hitting net zero, when the amount of greenhouse gases emitted can be captured by forests, crops, and soils.

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It's not just greenhouse gas emissions that need to be put in check, Modi said during his speech. He called on people to live more sustainable lives, thinking about the choices they make when it comes to their diets and how items they buy are packaged. "Instead of mindless and destructive consumption, we need mindful and deliberate utilization," he said. "These choices, made by billions of people, can take the fight against climate change on step further."

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