To achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting average global temperature rise to well below 2°C with an effort towards 1.5°C, all countries must align their net zero emissions targets with low carbon pathways that together limit global cumulative emissions to the remaining global carbon budget. To inform such climate compatible low carbon pathways for India, this study calculates India’s share of the global carbon budget using four allocation approaches and then employs four energy-economy models to translate these carbon budgets into long-term low carbon pathways for India, thus highlighting key decadal clean energy milestones and policy recommendations for India’s power, industry, and transport sectors.

Key Findings:

  • We calculate India’s fair share of the remaining global carbon budget using four approaches: Greenhouse Development Rights, Equal Cumulative Per Capita Emissions, the Fairness Index, and Per Capita Convergence.
  • We use four energy-economy models to distribute these calculated budgets across time and sectors to calculate decadal milestones until 2050 for India’s power, industry, and transport sectors.
  • India’s power sector is already decarbonizing, and the 500 GW non-fossil fuel electricity capacity target aligns with the budgets but requires policy support.
  • Industry and transport (dominated by freight trucks) will become the largest and fastest growing sources of emissions, respectively. Both require a multidimensional approach to decarbonization that includes demand reduction, cost parity, and R&D.
  • A carbon tax could ensure real emissions reduction, compensate for falling fuel-based tax revenues, and finance the creation of new jobs in clean industries. Job creation is important to ensure a just transition and boost the gross domestic product (GDP). Our models suggest a carbon tax of INR 4,000–6,000 per tCO2e (2018 prices) in 2050 for 1.5°C scenarios.
  • India will underconsume its equity-based share of the global carbon budget in all low carbon scenarios and should be supported with international finance and technology to ensure a just and resilient transition.


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