‘Reducing methane, nitrous oxide key to curb rising temperatures in India’

New Delhi: While India has made a mark as a global leader in climate action, it must work towards reducing greenhouse gases like methane and nitrous oxide to curb rising temperatures, according to an environmental expert on Tuesday.

India, especially the northern states, has been witnessing a severe heatwave in recent days.

Methane is about 80 per cent more potent in trapping heat and carbon dioxide, making it a major contributor to the current heatwave. Nitrous oxide also absorbs radiation and traps heat in the atmosphere, raising temperatures.

“We’ve all seen the recent heatwaves. We have to reduce those chemicals that are increasing temperatures, greenhouse gases, methane, for instance, or nitrous oxide,” Hisham Mundol, Chief Advisor, Environmental Defense Fund, India (EDF), a global nonprofit environmental advocacy group, told IANS.

He added that the “science is clear, and the solutions exist”.

Lauding India for being a “global leader on climate action”, Hisham said “What the country represents for the planet is a steady hand on climate change. It’s made important commitments and it’s staying the course.

He praised steps taken by India such as committing to a renewable energy target of 50 per cent of all capacity for energy by 2030, equivalent to 500 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity; and also for reaching 190 gigawatts of renewable energy.

The expert called for sustaining the momentum, and “to increase our renewable energy availability and use”.

Further, Hisham also called for accelerating action towards improving forest cover and biodiversity, as it is the single biggest carbon sink that’s available on the planet.

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