September 16, 2019
 In The Role of Nuclear Energy in Reducing Fossil Fuel Reliance

Country: India
Delegate Name: Neha Narayanan

Fossil fuels have contributed to global warming greatly, and the many negative effects have impacted India’s economy, climate, and living. Fossil fuels account for over 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. India has been experiencing severe food shortages, air pollution resulting in death, heat-related diseases, floods, droughts, and record-level heat. According to Wikipedia, “The 2022 heat wave in India and Pakistan is an extreme weather event which has resulted in the hottest March in the subcontinent since 1901. The hot season arrived unusually early in the year and extended into April, affecting a large part of India’s northwest and Pakistan.” India is committed to the Paris Agreement and reducing fossil fuels while increasing the amount of renewable energy used in the energy sector.

Nuclear energy is the fifth largest energy source in India. There are currently 7 nuclear power plants, however, India aims to triple its nuclear power capacity by 2032 as part of their low-carbon development strategy created in November 2022. An article by IBEF on India’s nuclear power states, “With an aim to increase its atomic power contribution from 3.2% to 5% by 2031, this surge in the nuclear energy contribution in India will help the country lead towards a more sustainable and economic future.” Nuclear power has proven to result in huge opportunities and has allowed for many technological advancements and growth for India.
India aims to reach net zero emissions by 2070. Currently, fossil fuels, specifically coal, make up 70% of India’s power sector. The country relies heavily on coal. India wants other countries to agree on a phase-down of all fossil fuels at COP27. However, India’s plan to reduce fossil fuels still includes coal as it is a key part of the economy and for development.

As part of the United Nations, India has outlined goals in order to achieve a reduction in carbon emissions of its economy of 33-35 percent by 2023. Nuclear power could provide India with a solution to the demand for power instead of wind and solar, which is not constantly available. The Economic Times state, “India currently operates 22 reactors totaling 6,780 MW, and those under execution or accorded administrative approval and financial sanction will lift it to 22,480 MW by 2031.” Currently, 172.72 GW of capacity from non-fossil fuel sources has been installed in India. Furthermore, India plans to increase the usage of renewable, clean, and sustainable energy. This will decrease the amount of Greenhouse Gases emitted by India’s energy sector.

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