India's response to the Paris agreement: planting 66 million trees in just 12 hours

Published on Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Triggered by India's commitment to the Paris Agreement, 1.5 million people recently gathered in India and planted 66 million trees in just 12 hours.

The campaign will likely beat the world record, which India owns, when they planted 49.3 million trees last year in 24 hours.

The Madhya Pradesh government spearheaded the campaign with the help of 24 districts along the Narmada River. Together they were able to rally 1.5 million men, women, children and elderly to plant over 20 different varieties of trees along the river's shores.

This effort is part of a larger environmental focus, since India committed to the Paris Agreement. As part of the Paris Agreement India has pledged $6.2 billion to reforest 235 million acres (95 million hectares) of the country by 2030.

A drastic shift

India is the third largest CO2 emitter in the world behind China and the United States and it has four of the ten most polluted cities in the world. However, the country has recently taken important steps to curb coal use for natural gas and renewable energy sources. A few years ago, the country had been on the path to triple their coal-fired electricity generation by 2020. However, signing of the Paris Agreement and the significant drop in renewable energy prices has led to a dramatic shift in strategy.

It is now projected that India's coal-fired plants are on average running below 60 percent capacity and there will be no need of additional plants in the coming decade. Furthermore, as part of the Paris Agreement, India's prime minister Narendra Modi has committed to 40% of India's electricity capacity to come from renewable sources by 2030.

Get a personalised quote for your home